Pies upbeat despite losses, says Buckley

Collingwood enter Thursday night’s AFL clash against Port Adelaide knowing that their best football can get the job done.

The Pies have suffered back-to-back losses – to Fremantle and Hawthorn – in the past fortnight, but those losses have not dented the self-belief of Nathan Buckley’s men.

“Our best footy is pretty good – it stacks up,” Buckley said.

“We can trouble sides with our strengths and we can cover for each other at other times, so it’s been a really positive period for us.

“At round 23 it all accumulates into wins and losses and you find out where you finish that year but we’re taking a bigger picture mentality.

“We’re improving week on week, and we’ll have blips along the way, but we’re encouraged by the attitude, effort and consistency from the playing group.”

The game will be the first at Adelaide Oval since the shock death of Adelaide coach Phil Walsh.

With the Crows’ clash against Geelong called off, emotional tributes have flowed at venues across the country as the football world tried to come to grips with the tragedy.

“I think what happens is it puts a bit of perspective in footy,” Buckley said.

“We’ve all got the connection to our clubs and to our teams and to our players and coaches internally, but I think you probably take a step back and reflect and see the bigger picture.

“We’re all part of the football community, so I think that’s the type of support that will come over the fence.”

Port have dropped club leader Tom Jonas and put fellow backman Alipate Carlile out for a spell because of a sore back.

The Power have made five changes, four of them unforced, while the `Pies are unchanged for Dane Swan’s 250th match.

Port also axed Nathan Krakouer, Andrew Moore and Sam Colquhoun.

Jackson Trengove, Cam O’Shea, Tom Clurey, Jake Neade and Karl Amon will take their places.

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