Carlton midfielder Bryce Gibbs says rather than increasing the pressure on his team, finals defeats in the past couple of years have actually helped the Blues.
Sunday's elimination final against Essendon at the MCG will be Carlton's first final in Melbourne in a decade and 2001 also happens to be the last year the Blues won a final, when they thrashed the Crows.
After having to wait eight years after that for Carlton to appear in another finals campaign, Blues fans have had to deal with narrow defeats to Brisbane and Sydney in the past two seasons.
Against the Lions at the Gabba, Brett Ratten's team led by more than five goals early in the final term but collapsed as they fell by seven points before going under by just five points to the Swans at ANZ Stadium a year later.
But while there's renewed speculation about Ratten's future, with talk his team must win at least one final for him to retain his job, Gibbs said the losses have not heaped any extra burden on the players' shoulders.
"(We're feeling) more just excitement that it's finals here again," Gibbs said.
"We haven't had a home final for quite some time now and we're really excited to get out in front of our fans here in Melbourne and hopefully can put on a good show."
"And what better way to do that (than against our) arch-rivals Essendon, no doubt there will be a fair crowd there."
"We've got a lot of guys getting a lot of games under their belts now and probably the last couple of finals is going to hold us in good stead I think."
"I think we're ready to take that next step and having those couple of losses may not be a bad thing."
Gibbs did admit, however, that the defeats to the Lions and Swans still cut deeply.
"It definitely sits in the back of your mind," he added.
"A couple of years ago in Brisbane we had an opportunity to win that game and again last year in Sydney we had our chances."
"We've learnt from those mistakes and hopefully this year we can go one better."
As for the Bombers, Gibbs agreed that performances against them this year, including the most recent back in Round 18 when the Blues prevailed by 74 points, give his side plenty of confidence.
"If you look at our record over the last couple of years they've probably had the better of us," Gibbs said.
"(But) to know that we've evened the ledger up a bit this year with drawing and then having a pretty nice win over them ... we'll take some confidence out of that for sure."