Jared Rivers believes that his side is close to reversing its recent run of results.
Collingwood could barely have come closer to ending its losing streak on Sunday, going down to Sandringham by a single point at Victoria Park.
The Magpies took the lead for the first time in the match 17 minutes into the last quarter, when a Daniel Wells goal saw them take a five-point lead.
But the Pies were eventually reeled in by the Zebras. Sandringham kicked six straight behinds in the closing minutes to win the closely fought contest.
Despite the loss, Rivers saw the positives in the performance, as the Pies played a game much more in keeping with the style that has brought them success in recent seasons.
He said that the next step for his young group of players was to manage those late-game situations more effectively.
“Our effort and intent was there and was so much better than previous weeks. We had a real focus on that before the game,” Rivers said post-match.
“To win contested possessions and tackles was a real win for us as well. They’re two ticks, but now we’ve got to start to think about the game a little bit more late in games.
“We shouldn’t be giving those leads up.”
Rivers highlighted the performances of Tim Broomhead, Travis Varcoe and Daniel Wells as standouts in the front half for the Pies.
Brayden Sier made a successful return from injury – collecting 24 disposals and a goal.
Isaac Quaynor’s strong run of form continued, with 25 touches and five tackles in defence for the Pies.
Collingwood managed to escape the match with a relatively clean bill of health. Ruckman Max Lynch was the only casualty, leaving the game in the second quarter with a concussion. He will undergo tests later in the week to assess his fitness.
The Pies make the trip down the highway to face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday. Both sides will be desperate for a win, with each managing just one from five attempts this season.
Alex Woodward puts the heat on a Sandringham opponent. (Photo: Shane Barrie)