Sidebottom set for Magpies return in AFL

·2-min read

Steele Sidebottom will be available to take on Carlton on Thursday night but Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley warns the inclusion of the veteran midfielder won't solve all of his AFL team's woes.

Sidebottom missed the Magpies' disappointing season-opening loss to the Western Bulldogs with a calf issue but trained strongly on Monday.

Buckley said Sidebottom would be ready to take his place in the midfield at the MCG against the Blues, who were impressive despite falling short against premiers Richmond.

"He's had over a week of solid training and he's in our best side so we expect him to back in," Buckley said of Sidebottom.

"He's an elite player so it's good to have him back but looking at our performance of last week and what we expect on Thursday, it's not going to be the inclusion of Steele that will make the difference."

Buckley said there would be a "couple of changes" to the side that lost by 16 points to the Bulldogs but wanted to see more hunger from those on the field.

"Our general intensity and work rate contest to contest wasn't high... our inability to work the ball out of our back half, and our inability to stop them working out of our front half were a couple of key themes," he said.

"We need to get going around the ball and we were shown up there by the Dogs and it's going to be a key part of Thursday night's game.

"Carlton are really strong in that area but it's about us, we need to share the load in there."

Buckley said the Magpies wanted Mason Cox or another ruckman to relieve some of the work load for Brodie Grundy and it would be something they would look to do against the Blues.

"We want Brodie to be supported by a second ruckman, whether it's Mason or Darcy Cameron or another option and we'd like that to be legitimate tandem ruck role," he said.

"We believe that Brodie can do some damage for us in front of the ball and we will be looking to explore that."

Jordan De Goey, who was quiet in round one, trained with the forward line at the end of the session and Buckley said he would play dual roles.

Buckley said the Magpies simply needed to score more.

"We want him to be able to help us in the mids and we need him forward of the ball as well so we will keep that balance quite even and then make decisions in games where we feel we can utilise him best," he said of De Goey.

"We need to find ways of hitting the scoreboard more."