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Buckley: "We will worry opponents"

Peter Ryan - AFL Media  June 12, 2017 7:40 PM

Buckley reflects on Monday's loss Hear from Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley after his side's loss to Melbourne on the Queen's Birthday in round 12, 2017.

Despite falling just short of its aim of heading into the bye with six wins and six losses next to its name, Collingwood is playing a brand of football good enough to worry opponents in the final 10 rounds.

Disappointed coach Nathan Buckley said supporters could take heart from the Magpies’ consistency, losing their seven games by an average margin of 14 points.

However, Buckley acknowledged a big challenge lay ahead of the team in the final 10 rounds.

"We are definitely playing more consistently across the four quarters, and if we do that in the last 10 rounds we will worry a few and give ourselves a chance," Buckley said.

"That is our challenge."

Buckley said the Magpies needed to sustain for longer the brand of football they had showed they were capable of to turn close losing margins into wins.

"We are one of the most consistent sides in the competition. We have used 29 or 30 players over the last seven weeks and it doesn't matter who is in or who is out we have been as consistent as any," Buckley said.

Buckley blamed the four-point loss to Melbourne on an inability to use the ball with composure in the second half, after the Demons lifted their intensity after being 23-points down at half-time.

He said the Magpies didn't move the ball in the manner they normally did when that pressure rose, but he paid credit to the Demons for being able to lift their work rate in response to the Magpies’ energy.

Buckley was pleased with the first game of father-son Callum Brown who was involved from start to finish, showing his quick hands and willingness to work in his 16-disposal game.

"He just keeps hunting the ball," Buckley said.

"He gave us what we thought we were going to get, which were contests around his area, created a few opportunities and I thought it was a pretty bright debut."

Buckley said key defender Ben Reid should be available after missing the past four games with a quad injury while Travis Varcoe was a chance to return from a hamstring strain, although it would be touch and go.

Jamie Elliott will come out of a moon boot this week and the Magpies will assess how long he may be out for after that happens. Buckley said he remained uncertain how long the damaging forward, who was sorely missedon Monday, would be out.

"We've been relatively consistent no matter who has been in or out, and that is what a team should be doing," Buckley said.