Buckley keeps the faith in AFL

Collingwood have lost their past four AFL games, their two highest goalkickers and potentially their place in the top eight.

But coach Nathan Buckley is adamant they will not lose their heart or nerve.

Magpies key forward Travis Cloke suffered a suspected torn calf in the first term of Saturday’s 31-point loss to West Coast at Etihad Stadium.

Small forward Jamie Elliott was forced out of the match because of a stress reaction in his back.

And if Adelaide win Sunday’s Showdown, it will be the first time the Magpies have dropped out of the eight for the first time since round two.

Asked if his team was in danger of falling off the cliff, Buckley replied: “It’s all on us.

“It will be speculated on and it will be written.

“But that doesn’t make it so.”

Buckley immediately pointed to Collingwood’s close losses in the past month to Fremantle, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide.

“As far as our football goes, some of the football we’ve played in the last month has been better than anything we displayed in the first half of the year,” he said.

“So we’re not going to get carried away with a run of losses, given we’ve actually played some really good footy in that period.”

But Buckley also pointed out that in the end, it is their win-loss record that counts most.

“We’re just not quite good enough, are we?” he said.

“We’re just that little bit off at the moment.

“We have a lot of growth in us but there’s no guarantee we’re going to find it.

“We have to make it happen.”

Buckley also defended key forward Jesse White, who only had 10 possessions and failed to kick a goal in Cloke’s absence.

“Jesse competed alright – too much focus on one bloke,” he said.

One highlight of the match for the Magpies was Jack Crisp, who did well against Eagles midfielder Luke Shuey.

Crisp was coined the “steak knives” part of the trade deal last year that sent Dayne Beams from Collingwood to Brisbane.

“We knew what we were getting, although we’ve been massively impressed with what we have got,” Buckley said of the former Lions midfielder.

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