Magpies must improve: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies must improve: Malthouse

By Adam Cooper 10/04/2009 05:57:16 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse wouldn't quite say the Magpies are playing for bronze but it's clear he believes his side must improve dramatically to challenge the AFL heavyweights.

Malthouse was left ruing his side's inability to hurt Geelong on Thursday night at the MCG, when the Magpies dominated the first quarter but could not capitalise on their opportunities.

Leigh Brown had the chance to stretch the lead beyond four goals early in the second quarter but missed from 30 metres, and David Wojcinski's major from the resultant kick-in was the first of eight unanswered Geelong goals.

Malthouse was disappointed by his side's 7.12 from set shots at goal and bad turnovers when in possession, which gifted the ball back to the Cats.

He conceded Collingwood had to improve substantially to beat Geelong, because even matching the best side over the past two years would not suffice.

"Geelong playing at their absolute best and us at our absolute best, they'll beat us because they're better than us and they'll beat 14 other clubs," he said after the Cats won 18.14 (122) to 13.17 (95).

"Whether they'll beat Hawthorn is another thing I suppose ... let's not confuse great sides with (those) wanting to be great sides."

Malthouse said it was hard to combat a side so clinical and confident, and although he retained faith in his playing personnel, admitted something else was needed next time the Pies met the 2007 Premiers.

"The other clubs have got to do things differently or better to beat them," he said.

Collingwood's worry next week will centre over defender Heath Shaw, who was reported for the serious charge of making contact with an umpire.

Shaw was booked after he touched umpire Michael Vozzo on the arm as he protested against a free-kick.

The Magpies are also set to promote a player from the rookie list to cover utility Ben Johnson, who broke his right leg and is likely to be sidelined for two months.

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