Act like winners: Pies back McRae's demand

·2-min read

If Craig McRae's demand for his charges to "act like winners" instead of slumping to the ground in defeat raised eyebrows among AFL watchers, it struck a chord with his Collingwood players.

Magpies coach McRae took issue with some of his players "acting like a loser" on the final siren of Saturday's six-point qualifying final heartbreak final, stressing their season was not yet over.

"We want to act like winners - I must admit, the siren goes and there's half a dozen of our guys lying on the ground," he said in his post-match press conference.

"For me, that's not a winner, that's acting like a loser.

"We lost the game, we're not losers. I just made that point.

"For the lifetime I'm sitting in this chair, maybe barring a grand final, if we don't win, don't lie on the ground."

Veteran Steele Sidebottom backed his coach, saying the situation reminded him of losing a qualifying final in 2018, en route to that year's grand final.

"Although we lost (on Saturday) and clearly boys were tipping in, you've got to be able to move on pretty quick," he told reporters on Monday.

"The way that you carry yourself throughout a game and the way that we've carried ourselves throughout the year, and it started from pre-season, is with our body language and everything.

"We want to stand tall and be proud and that's what winners do.

"I support what Craig said and that's the way that we go about our business around here."

Teammates John Noble and Darcy Cameron told AAP they were also on the same page as McRae.

Meanwhile, Collingwood received good news on Monday when Jordan De Goey's shoulder injury was confirmed as an AC joint sprain.

The explosive midfielder's contact work will be managed this week but he is expected to be given the green light to take on Fremantle on Saturday night.

Despite suffering the injury early against Geelong, De Goey was still one of the Magpies' best players and produced a pair of big goals in the final quarter.

"I've seen Jordy in here (at the club) today so he'll be good to go, I'm sure," Sidebottom said.

"He's huge and I think in finals games you look for those guys that have that kind of X-factor.

"You look to those guys as well when things aren't going right. Those goals in the last quarter, not everyone can do that and he makes it look so easy.

"I'm sure Jordy will be right and he'll get himself right to put another display in."

Sidebottom praised vice-captain Taylor Adams, who was at the club supporting his teammates on Monday, despite suffering a season-ending groin tear against Geelong.

Adams won't return to full training in the 2023 pre-season until January.