Crows endure toughest of AFL weeks: Nicks

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Adelaide have endured one of their toughest weeks while impatiently waiting for a chance to respond to a mediocre AFL performance, coach Matthew Nicks says.

The lowly Crows host finals-bound Collingwood on Saturday seeking to atone for their last-start loss to Hawthorn.

Adelaide were blown away in the first term by the Hawks, who led by 31 points at quarter-time and ultimately won by 32.

"We have been in the fight for the majority of the year," Nicks told reporters on Friday.

"We have the odd game where we really let ourselves and our supporters down and that is where we sit this week.

"This week is one of the hardest weeks we have had as a group because we wanted to play Collingwood on Wednesday so we can move on from the Hawthorn performance."

Nicks' 15th-placed Crows have beaten only last-placed North Melbourne and 17th-placed West Coast in the past 10 rounds.

But the third-year coach maintained his rebuild was tracking in the right direction at a club which will miss the finals for a fifth consecutive season.

"We know we can beat the best sides in the competition, we also know we can unfortunately lose to the sides that aren't fighting for the finals," he said.

"And that is our challenge.

"And you find that turns really quickly, if you look at a lot of the rebuilds over the years, there is a really quick turnaround.

"Go back and look at Brisbane and some of the games they played just prior to them bouncing back ... we strongly believe we are on that path.

"We believe our momentum at this point is going in the right direction.

"At the moment, this week we sit in a position where we are just really disappointed with last week's performance. But we will right the ship."

Nicks axed Adelaide's 2017 club champion Matt Crouch for a third time in 2022 amid speculation the midfielder would ask for a trade at season's end.

"We never stand in a player's way, we work with that player on what we can do to make it best for them and best for the footy club," Nicks said.

"There's two sides to all of this.

"But in no uncertain terms, I have sat down with Matty and said he is part of what we're doing at this footy club and a big part of that.

"At the moment - and they are the key words, at the moment - we have got a midfield group that are playing some pretty good footy and have done prior to last weekend."

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