Melbourne are wary of out-of-sorts Collingwood forward Travis Cloke ahead of the Queen’s Birthday clash at the MCG on Monday.
Cloke was held goalless in his AFL return against Port Adelaide last week after a stint in the VFL, but he was the match winner in last year’s Queen’s Birthday clash with seven goals.
“I hope he doesn’t do that again, that’s for sure,” Demons skipper Nathan Jones said on Tuesday.
“He’s obviously been under a bit of pressure but watching the game last week he certainly didn’t lower his colours.
“I thought his effort was there and we expect him to be at his best again.
“We’ve seen first-hand potentially what he can do to a game, last year kicking seven straight. We’ll be trying to nullify him and making sure he doesn’t do that again.”
Melbourne are currently 11th with a 5-6 record, and sit one spot ahead of the struggling 4-7 Pies after 11 rounds.
The Demons haven’t beaten Collingwood in the annual fixture since 2007, but are the bookmakers’ favourite to break that drought on Monday, a level of expectation that Paul Roos’ improving side has struggled to cope with in the past.
“From our perspective it’s about trying to get consistency across an entire game, bring our best and if we do that then we think we’re good enough,” Jones said.
“We expect Collingwood to come out and be at their best. (They’re) in a position that I’ve found myself in before and it’s a chance to really galvanise the group and we’re expecting them to do that.”