Magpies can improve, says Dale Thomas - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies can improve, says Dale Thomas

By Roger Vaughan 08/07/2008 02:57:10 PM Comments (0)

Over their last six AFL matches, Collingwood have shown what is possible in 2008 with impressive wins against Geelong and Sydney.

But the worry for the Magpies is those wins have been six weeks apart, with two wins and two losses in between.

Forward Dale Thomas says the players are acutely aware of the need for greater consistency as they head into the last two months of the regular season.

"It's certainly not something you can do every week - we played some good footy on the weekend," Thomas said of the Sydney win.

"We managed to play three quarters of good footy, it probably wasn't a four-quarter performance like we've probably only put together against Geelong.

"So we've still got a fair bit of improvement in us.

"Any win gives you some confidence, and especially going up to Sydney ... we held them to two goals at (three-quarter) time, so that's certainly a positive."

Saturday night's win brought Collingwood to within a game and a half of fourth-placed Sydney.

The Magpies will be at the MCG on Saturday to play Adelaide, who have lost their last three.

In Collingwood's run home, only Hawthorn and Sydney are current top-four teams.

"All games are important for us ... when it comes to this time of year, heading towards finals, we're eight weeks out," Thomas said.

"We're in the eight, we're level with a few teams and we want to try to get in that top four.

"You've just got to take what is ahead of you and it's Adelaide this week.

"There's sides biting at our heels, so we've got to keep trying to win."

Amid the growing pressure, there is time for some light relief and Thomas had a dig at team-mate Shane Wakelin after the much-publicised Barry Hall incident.

The extent of Hall's contact with Wakelin's face remains unclear.

But if there is any mark, Thomas said Wakelin will make sure it does not show.

"He's usually got a bit of growth over his chin, so there might have been a bit of padding there," Thomas said.

"I don't know if he's covering, but he likes to take care of himself, so he's always got the three-day growth look."

Thomas added Wakelin was within his rights to "milk" the incident as much as possible.

"Wakes was in that position and that's what he chose to do, I suppose unless you're in that position, you can't actually assume how you'd react," he said.

"I don't think it's cheating, by any stretch."

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