Nathan Buckley
Nathan Buckley

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has not ruled out the prospect of dropping tall forwards Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes for the club's match against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.

The pair have both been in poor form, having kicked 22 goals between them in their past eight matches, and they particularly struggled against Hawthorn at the MCG three days ago.

Premiership coach Robert Walls flagged the potential axing of the duo on online analysis program TSI AFL on Monday, and when asked to respond to Walls' comments, Buckley refused to confirm they would play, turning up the heat on the club's under-fire big men.

"We haven't had match committee yet," Buckley told reporters on Tuesday.

"Every one of the 22 players that played is under some sort of pressure, as is the rest of the club. We need to perform better than we did. We are looking to remedy that as soon as this week."

Cloke's future has been the subject of much media speculation this year, with the key forward a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

With a host of clubs chasing his services, Cloke has not responded to Collingwood's contract offer and as each day passes, the likelihood of him moving increases.

Magpies skipper Nick Maxwell feels for the 25-year-old and believes the intense focus on his football and contract situation has made life difficult in 2012.

"I think that when anyone's not playing their best footy, they tend to read things and hear things and it becomes hard," Maxwell said.

"I challenge anyone to go through what Trav has been going through this year and to be coming out and playing his best footy."

Maxwell has backed Cloke and Dawes to find form soon though, citing the pair's work-rate as a reason for their improvement, while he also believes the delivery of the ball into the forward line has not been ideal for the duo in recent weeks.

"We just tell (them) to keep working hard and that's the thing that they have been doing," he said.

"We see them every day and how hard they work and how hard they are trying to turn it around so we fully support them.

"I think we can look after them a bit better (with) the way that we kick it in there. We saw with Hawthorn (on Saturday) ... they use the ball so well going forward. We can probably do that a little bit better to make it a bit easier for them."

Alan Didak's comeback trail from an adductor tear will be halted this week due to a bye for Collingwood's VFL side, but Buckley took heart from his performance against Box Hill on Saturday.

"He played 65 percent game time (in the VFL), which was encouraging, but he's still got a little way to go. Clearly getting out and running around on a footy field is a great step for him," Buckley said.


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