Magpies don't intend to be dour: Buckley

·2-min read

Nathan Buckley has defended Collingwood's game plan in the face of mounting criticism, declaring his low-scoring Magpies aren't deliberately playing a defensive brand of football.

Ranked second-last in the AFL this season for points scored, the Pies produced a goalless first half for the first time since 2005 in their loss to Geelong last week.

They have managed a total of just 151 points on their current three-match losing streak, equating to their lowest tally over a three-week stretch since 1968.

The scoring trouble has left Collingwood in 16th place with a 2-9 record ahead of Saturday's meeting with Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

Buckley, who last month conceded the Magpies had fallen into a "reset" phase, said his side has reworked its attacking style in recent weeks, putting greater emphasis on possession and forcing the opposition to defend.

"It's just that final piece of being able to connect and that's something we've worked on over the last couple of weeks whilst we've been reschooling our defence and re-establishing those strong elements of our game," Buckley said.

"We don't intend to be dour, but at the moment that has been a step that we've gone through.

"We just haven't been able to convert our opportunities, whether that be accuracy or that connection inside forward-50, to kick a score that we believe we're capable of.

"This week could be the week for that."

Jamie Elliott's return after 10 weeks out with a broken leg is a boost to Collingwood's chances of toppling Adelaide, but they have lost experienced duo Chris Mayne (managed) and Brodie Grundy (neck).

Second-gamer Max Lynch will lead the ruck in Grundy's absence against Crows big man Reilly O'Brien.

As Melbourne tackles another COVID-19 outbreak, the Magpies have had to operate under strict quarantine directions from the South Australian government as part of their exemption to fly in and out of Adelaide on Saturday.

SA's top health official, Nicola Spurrier, raised eyebrows this week when addressing Collingwood's exemption details, suggesting fans should "duck" and "not touch that ball" if it travels over the Adelaide Oval fence.

"There's been a few memes about it, so I didn't miss that," Buckley said.

"I understand the health ministers have got a job to do and we don't take lightly the fact that we are provided with the opportunity to come across and play this game.

"We take it very seriously and we're doing everything that the SA government is asking of us, in terms of their protocols, to make sure that we adhere to their guidelines."

About half of Collingwood's playing group had stayed at a Melbourne hotel on Thursday, with the entire travelling party scheduled to do so on Friday before departing.

Buckley said their training schedule and meetings have not been hindered by the protocols.

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