Malthouse delivers under pressure - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse delivers under pressure

By Laine Clark 18/04/2009 09:28:46 AM Comments (0)

If Collingwood ever doubt Mick Malthouse's passion for his job, they need only quiz the poor old umpire from Friday night's stirring 17-point AFL win over the Brisbane Lions.

Or the poor bloke who asked at the post-match press conference if Malthouse was under pressure.

Off-contract Malthouse arrived at the Gabba with speculation swirling around him following reports he would sit down with the Collingwood hierarchy in June to discuss his future as Pies coach.

Magpies legend Nathan Buckley has already been linked to his job.

Despite his impressive career, Malthouse clearly had to bring something to the negotiating table by June - and a 1-2 record wasn't the best start.

If he had been distracted, he didn't show it against fierce rivals the Lions in a performance that was vintage Malthouse.

Just ask the umpire at quartertime who received a classic Malthouse glare following a dubious 50m penalty on the siren that gifted the Lions a 22-point lead.

"I was (angry)," Malthouse said.

Asked what the free kick was for, Malthouse said: "No one knows."

Malthouse appeared to back up the fearsome eyeballing with a spray but the wily Pies mentor said: "No, I wasn't yelling out (to the umpire).

"I was talking to my player group. I wasn't happy with a couple of things."

He also wasn't happy when asked if he was under pressure to win on Friday night, in a nod towards the mooted June meeting.

"You are talking to the wrong bloke about pressure, mate - I get it every week," Malthouse shot back to the journalist.

"It is loaded up to the brim every game I have ever coached.

"I am under pressure every game I coach but no more or less than any other week."

But Malthouse didn't just turn heads with his theatrics.

Indeed it was a decision at quartertime - once he had controlled his anger - that appeared to turn the game.

After Jonathan Brown kicked two goals in the opening term, Malthouse moved Simon Prestigiacomo onto the Lions captain and switched Harry O'Brien onto key Brisbane forward Daniel Bradshaw.

The Lions captain did not kick another goal while Bradshaw finished the match with just one behind.

Indeed Collingwood limited the Lions to just one second half goal and kicked 10 of the final 11 majors of the match to overhaul the plucky hosts.

More importantly it put the Pies (2-2) back on an even keel ahead of their traditional Anzac Day clash next weekend with Essendon.

While not one to give himself a rap, Malthouse did have kind words for another old stager - key forward Anthony Rocca.

Playing his first game since round 13 last year due to injury, Rocca finished with just nine touches and a behind - much to Malthouse's delight.

"It was encouraging because he has been out of football for so long," Malthouse said.

"It's not as though he missed last year and was ready to play in October, that wasn't the case.

"We had to go right through to January to even get him up and running again.

"It was important to bring a senior player with authority into the side.

"We are a young group...and he adds extra steel."

The Pies were without skipper Nick Maxwell, Heath Shaw (suspension) and Ben Johnson (broken leg).

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