Magpies confident ahead of Swans clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies confident ahead of Swans clash

By Sam Lienert 20/08/2008 05:10:04 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood are riding a wave of confidence into Saturday night's AFL clash with Sydney, according to midfielder Dane Swan.

Swan said the club's momentum had taken an upward swing since the Alan Didak-Heath Shaw drink-driving saga, with wins over St Kilda and Port Adelaide.

"Everyone knows what happened a couple of weeks ago and our form's turned around since then," Swan said on Wednesday.

"We've got a pretty young group and all the young kids have got a lot of confidence at the moment.

"So the coaches will try to bring that into the game and let the boys play the way they play and use their confidence and a bit of flair to hopefully get us over the line."

Further boosting the Magpies' belief is a five-match winning streak over the Swans, including a commanding victory in Sydney just last month.

"We've just got to stick to our structures, we do match up pretty well against Sydney," Swan said.

"Hopefully we just keep doing the things we've been doing and things will hopefully fall our way."

Collingwood must win on Saturday - or their final round match against Fremantle at Subiaco - to cement a finals spot.

Young midfielder-forward Dale Thomas is in doubt with a knee injury but Rhyce Shaw could return after serving a two-game ban for his role in the drink-driving incident.

"He's served his two weeks and he trained pretty strongly today," Swan said.

"Obviously he's a great runner, he's one of those players that breaks the lines for us, so I'm assuming he's available for selection."

Swan also hoped Collingwood would keep Didak despite widespread speculation the Magpies' patience had been exhausted by his off-field misbehaviour.

"I'm very good mates with Al so obviously I want him to stay, I'd love him to play at Collingwood for the rest of his career," Swan said.

He said the Didak he knew was not the bad boy his public image suggested.

"No one sees all the good stuff," Swan said.

"Going out to kids' schools and the stuff he does off his own bat and helping out his mates' kids and that sort of stuff, you never hear about that.

"Off the field he's such a character, he's a ripping bloke, he just made a couple of silly decisions and he's been crucified for it."

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