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Pies capable of finding better

Collingwood will look to bounce back against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Friday night - Collingwood Magpies
Collingwood will look to bounce back against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Friday night

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley believes both Mason Cox and the selected 22 players are capable of performing at a higher level this season.

"We believe that Coxy is capable of finding better. He’s been a bit like us, he hasn’t performed at his best," Buckley said on SEN Mornings.

"What’s the best decision for the team first and foremost, but what honours selection across your group? Because the players that are toiling away in the VFL and are working for their opportunity to come and contribute at AFL level, they need to believe that they’re going to be rewarded.

"But there are simply some times where you cannot replace a player at the top without completely undermining your structure.

"Coxy has had some lean patches before but has bounced back pretty well. Out of 16 one-on-one's he's been in the last month, he's won seven. He's the leading one-on-one player in the competition over the last month, statistically."

The selection committee won’t be risking Jeremy Howe if he’s not right to go against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Friday night.

"He’s a chance, but he’s unlikely," Buckley said.

"It’s no use bringing blokes back if the risk is too great and you lose them for another three to four weeks.

"When Howie's ready, he'll play."

Listen to the full discussion with Sam McClure below.