Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley remains confident his message is getting through to his players – there just aren’t enough of them available to help break the Pies out of their rut.
Collingwood slumped to 14th on the ladder with a 2-5 record with Saturday’s upset loss to arch-rivals Carlton.
A frustrated Buckley admits the Pies aren’t meeting expectations from inside or outside the club after seven rounds, but he also points to a long injury list, which he says has become a factor.
“At times it feels like we’re on the treadmill or treading water a little bit,” Buckley said of his side’s season.
“We were pretty banged up today. We had some boys who were sore, and that impacts on their ability to contribute and in some ways we would like to be selecting a more experienced 22.
“We’re missing some playmakers, we’re missing some run and experience … there are eight or nine guys that are out of the side through injury mainly that would be in our best 22.”
Notable absentees against the Blues included Dane Swan, Travis Varcoe, Jamie Elliott, Taylor Adams and Marley Williams.
Travis Cloke was out of the side on form but also has a back injury that’s kept him out of the VFL team this weekend.
The Pies were comprehensively beaten in contested possession on Saturday and couldn’t lock the ball inside their attacking 50 against Carlton, which Buckley concedes have been recurring themes in 2016.
He does, however, remain confident there’s time to turn things around.
“It’s round seven … we would have loved to have been better placed,” he said.
“We would have loved to have been more consistent and been able to consolidate a core group of players that are going to go and play our way (but) we have been unable to do that to this point.
“We’ll keep looking for it. We want more continuity in our senior 22 but form and injury have conspired against that.”
Tim Broomhead (ankle) and Ben Reid (shoulder) joined the list of casualties during the 15-point loss at the MCG.