Collingwood’s AFL season of great expectations has quickly become mired in perplexing frustrations.
The Magpies were justifiably bullish after a strong off-season and some handy recruits.
But Sydney belted them in round one, they fell over the line against Richmond and St Kilda sliced through them last weekend.
Collingwood means a particularly-hot media blowtorch. The temperature rose further when president Eddie McGuire said during the week he would have no hesitation in sacking coach Nathan Buckley.
It did not matter that McGuire also strongly backed Buckley in the same interview.
The Magpies could do with a circuit breaker and that would be a win over Melbourne on Sunday at the MCG.
After focusing on their contested-ball work in the first two rounds, Buckley said they clearly were not defending well enough.
He forecast a dour battle against the Demons as Collingwood tried to get their season back on track.
“What the coaching staff have put in front of us, we have full faith in,” said Magpies onballer Taylor Adams.
“It’s just a matter of going out there and applying that for four quarters.
“At the moment, we’re not able to do that.”
Asked how much a win would make life easier for Buckley, Adams replied: “it would absolutely make everyone’s job at the club easier.”
He also fiercely backed his coach, saying what Buckley had done over the past three years with the team had been absolutely unreal.
“Our playing list has changed and developed a fair bit (and) we’ve lost so much experience from that (2010) premiership team,” Adams said.
“We were always going to have to go backwards to go forwards.
“But we’ve played three games – we’re not in crisis, we’re certainly confident in our ability (and) we have full faith in the coaching staff’s ability.
“We’re certainly very confident and happy with the way Bucks coaches and what he’s brought to the table over the last four-five years.”
Melbourne went close to upsetting North Melbourne in Hobart last week and Adams said Collingwood must be on their game.
“They’re very similar to St Kilda – they move the ball pretty quickly and they have really good contested players in Nathan Jones, Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver,” he said.
“So if we’re 5-10 per cent off, we’ll get rolled.”
The Magpies have loaded up with experience, with Travis Varcoe, Steele Sidebottom and Alan Toovey all recalled.
Angus Brayshaw and Cam Pedersen are back for the Demons, while Jayden Hunt will make his AFL debut.