Sydney Swans coach John Longmire refused to dispel former Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse's assessment his top-of-the-ladder side are not worthy of a top-two spot after the Pies' upset victory on Saturday night.
Collingwood battled to an eight-point win over the Swans at ANZ Stadium, their 10th straight over Sydney, leading Malthouse to believe neither the Swans or Adelaide warranted their top-two spots.
Sydney and Adelaide are first and second on 60 points with the Pies level on points in third.
Hawthorn, who Malthouse considers the main contender along with Collingwood, are fourth on 56 points, with three games to play.
Longmire saw his nine-match winning streak snapped as a result and said although he felt his side needed to improve, he did not take much stock in Malthouse's opinion.
"We don't get too caught up in what happens outside the footy club," Longmire said.
"Mick is entitled to his opinion and good luck to him.
"Going into the weekend, us and Collingwood had won five games each against top eight teams.
"The record has been OK, but we still have to improve.
"I don't completely disagree with Mick, we've still got to improve, and I've said that every week."
A baffled Malthouse gave little credit to the Swans, whose credentials he said were boosted by a favourable draw.
"I just can't get my head around it, looking at the ladder and seeing Sydney on top, Adelaide second," Malthouse said on Melbourne radio.
"I can't get my head around them being the best two sides in the comp - because they're not."
Longmire immediately turned his attentions to Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs and said Malthouse's words would not be used as any sort of motivation in the lead up.
"We don't come in here on a Monday, look at Mick Malthouse's comments and throw the world upside down and do the review completely different because of it," he said.
"He's entitled to his opinion and a lot of people think he's right in that and that's fine, it doesn't worry me and it doesn't worry the players."
Sydney's forward line structure appeared to fall down against the Pies with Sam Reid's absence glaring during the loss.
Longmire said on Monday he was hopeful Reid would return after a second week on the sidelines with bone bruising.
"He ran today and ran really well," he said.
"He'll do a bit of training on Wednesday and hopefully do full training on Friday."He'd be a really good in for us, even when he's not kicking bag of goals, he allows other players to do other things and he's an important player in our structure."