'Pies back to intimidating best: O'Bree - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Pies back to intimidating best: O'Bree

By Leonard Siragusa 28/08/2008 03:16:22 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood veteran Shane O'Bree has warned their premiership rivals the Magpies have regained their intimidating psyche ahead of the AFL finals.

The Magpies have won their past three games despite missing stars Alan Didak, Rhyce and Heath Shaw because of club-imposed suspensions.

O'Bree said his side had returned to harassing their opponents into making mistakes.

It proved to a successful game plan against reigning premiers Geelong in round nine, handing the Cats their only loss for the year by 86 points.

"We're back to playing the footy that we like to play and that is intimidating teams, putting the pressure on and making the most of the turnovers," O'Bree said.

"We're just playing as a team and not relying on too many individuals."

A win against Fremantle on Friday night at Subiaco would lift the Magpies into fourth place.

Should North Melbourne lose to Port Adelaide, Collingwood would claim the all-important double chance for the finals.

O'Bree acknowledged the Dockers would be keen to damage the Magpies' ambitions of finishing fourth.

He also added the Dockers would lift for the retiring Mark Johnson, while enigmatic forward Jeff Farmer and midfielder Josh Carr will reportedly play their last games for Fremantle on Friday night.

"We can finish top four (but) Freo have got a lot of blokes that are retiring so they're going to be out to beat us as well," O'Bree said.

"I've been in that position before where Collingwood was down the bottom of the ladder and you're playing just to knock a team off and wreck their finals chances, so they'll be fired up, so it's a matter of us taking them on early."

O'Bree admitted his team would sorely miss captain Scott Burns, who is out with a calf injury.

While the Magpies have denied reports Burns' injury will keep him out for the entire finals series, he could miss the first final after the 33-year-old missed three weeks with a calf complaint earlier this year.

O'Bree, who said Burns was not depressed about the injury layoff, was hopeful the rest this weekend would allow him to recover in time for next weekend's first final.

"He's obviously just walking at this stage but he'll have a long break," O'Bree said.

"Flying's not the best thing for it so he'll just freshen up over the weekend and get it right so hopefully run next week and play next weekend."

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