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"It was an important one for us": Buckley

Post Match: Nathan Buckley Hear from the Pies' coach after the one-point win over West Coast at Optus Stadium.

Collingwood has rediscovered its mojo.

After successive losses – and an uninspiring victory over the Western Bulldogs that perhaps drew as much criticism as the defeats – the Pies are back in their coach's good books.

A thrilling one-point victory over reigning premiers West Coast on Friday night is just what Nathan Buckley has been searching for from his side over the last month.

Collingwood was gritty, bold and held its nerve late, overturning a significant 16-point deficit at three-quarter time to storm home at Optus Stadium and claim a vital victory.

Having publicly questioned his charges in recent weeks, the Magpies coach was more than happy to hand out the plaudits for his side's work ethic and desperation on the road.

"Footy's a hard caper," Buckley said after the match.

"The scrutiny is quite intense, but we got back to a mentality that was working for each other and having a selfless attitude.

"We did OK in the early stages of the game, but as the game wore on we were able to find our mojo and really enforce ourselves in a manner we haven't been able to against West Coast as games have progressed over the last 18 months. That was encouraging."

 

The win helped Collingwood leapfrog West Coast into second on the ladder, with the Pies also gaining a crucial mental edge over the Eagles following last year's Grand Final defeat.

But with the race for positions at the top of the ladder tightening, the evenness of the League has made Buckley reconsider whether his own criticism of the Pies' form was justified.

"The competition's pretty fierce," Buckley said.

"There's an evenness to it that we haven't seen for a while. I think at times even I have discredited some of our wins against some pretty good opposition in retrospect.

"But it was an important one for us, just for our mentality and for our progress through the season. The ladder will look after itself, but this was a good one to win."

Collingwood lost in-form defender Darcy Moore to a hamstring strain early in the match, but the club is confident Scott Pendlebury (finger) and James Aish (shoulder) are fine.