Misfiring forward Travis Cloke can redeem himself at Collingwood this AFL season and beyond, his coach Nathan Buckley says.
Buckley says he’s heartened at Cloke’s effort in the VFL on the weekend as the highly-paid forward continues to struggle to find form.
Buckley dumped the key forward to the VFL after just a one-match return in AFL ranks the week prior.
“The fact is Clokey has been terribly out of form has been lost in the conversation a little bit,” Buckley told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 program on Monday night.
“His effort on Saturday was actually the best effort we have got from him all year.
“And if he continues that, we know that he can redeem himself with us in 2016 and then beyond. And that is what we are endeavouring to do.”
Cloke was a spectator as Collingwood slipped to a heavy defeat to Melbourne on Monday.
Buckley entered the game with a plan to use two ruckmen – Brodie Grundy Jarrod Witts – to overcome Melbourne’s in-form ruck Max Gawn.
“We wanted to try and work Max Gawn over a little. In the end he worked us over – 27 touches and three goals,” Buckley said.
“Our best laid plans in regards to selection and trying to utilise Grundy and Witts together didn’t come to fruition.”
The loss left Collingwood with four wins and eight losses – and needing a football miracle to reach the finals.
“We are a football program and we have got to take heed of the performances that we put up,” Buckley said.
“So four-eight this year is far from where we envisaged. For a number of reasons we haven’t been consistent enough in our performances.”