″Last time he played forward the game was pretty different. It’s going to take time, but we, as I said yesterday, needed to change things up.
“We were looking for better and the flip side of that is Mark Keane, young fellow who came in and had a tough night tonight, but we believe he’s got the capacity to stand up in that role.”
The coach had been under pressure following Collingwood’s 1-3 start to the campaign, and that is unlikely to change following this loss.
However, he took some positives from the performance, particularly in the first quarter when the Pies got off to a strong start and took an interval lead.
“Some good, and some room for improvement. Ultimately a loss, but the effort was better from the last couple of weeks.
“The first quarter was excellent. Second quarter we really dropped away and that’s where the game was lost in many ways.
“We just weren’t able to get on our terms often enough, probably weren’t as clean around the ball as we were early and that hurt us in that second quarter.
“We were really focused on tonight and finding a better performance and in many ways, in some ways we did, in others, clearly we weren’t good enough tonight, but we’ve got a longer preparation with Essendon and we’ll focus on that.”
Eagles coach Adam Simpson was complimentary about the defeated opponents.
“I thought Collingwood were pretty sharp. They dug in … but we got our way back in the game through the contest in the second quarter.
“And our good was brilliant and our bad was a bit scratchie. So probably lost a bit of field position throughout the game. But quite effective in front ball with our talls. I thought our backs really stood up as well.
“I think our best is as good as anyone’s.”
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Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing