Nathan Buckley
Nathan Buckley

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has questioned the psyche of his team after their 49-point loss to West Coast on Saturday night.

The Magpies made a dominant start to the match and had the first five scoring shots of the game before they allowed the home side back into the contest.

Buckley said he would not look to make personnel changes but rather address his team's mindset.

"I'm talking about psyche, the psyche of our team and the belief of our team," he said.

"We've played some pretty good football this year. We've played some poor football in recent weeks.

"We played some really good footy in the first quarter tonight, which was evidence that when we set our mind to the task we can execute what we want to execute.

"Ultimately as the game wore on, West Coast outlasted us, outworked us, outstayed us, and that was the tale of the tape."

Buckley made reference to Collingwood's win over Sydney a fortnight ago and put last week's loss to North Melbourne and this week's against West Coast down to the mental approach of his team.

Key forwards Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes were again kept quiet and held goalless by West Coast's defense.

But Buckley said it was not just about the two forwards.

"Belief becomes a massive thing for any athlete," he said.

"When you play a team sport, I think the belief of the team becomes paramount as well.

"That mental attitude either allows you to find that physical toughness you need to get through a game of footy and at the moment either individually or collectively we don't have that.

"We're a week away from a final series and we've got to find it in a hurry."

The Magpies missed Darren Jolly (soreness) as Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui dominated Cameron Wood in the ruck to win the hit outs 60-12, which established the basis for the Eagles' midfield performance.

Jolly is expected to return for next week's match and Buckley said there were some good performances in the VFL.

"Personnel wise, you saw pretty much our best 22 on the park tonight, which makes it even more disappointing," he said.

"(Jolly) should be right. Ultimately, he's carried soreness through the whole year and he's come up well, particularly fresh, after some spells that we've been able to give him and have really been forced upon him.

"All being well, you'd expect that he'll be in the mix.

Collingwood expect to get skipper Nick Maxwell (hip/groin) back for next week's match against Essendon as they look to regain the top four spot they relinquished to the Eagles.

Sportal

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