Anzac Day loss hurt Magpies: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anzac Day loss hurt Magpies: Malthouse

02/07/2009 05:12:45 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse is confident his players won't make the same defensive blunders against Essendon that made Anzac Day such a painful and lasting lesson.

Ahead of Friday night's blockbuster at the MCG, Malthouse said the hurt caused by the round-five defeat, when the Magpies left the gate open and the Dons kicked the last three goals, had lingered longer than most losses.

"It was the way it was done," Malthouse said.

"We made so many errors at crucial times and we really didn't stick to our structures.

"Our option-taking at the end of the game was quite poor and we paid a supreme penalty for it.

"That happens, we've seen it happen time and time again.

"Sometimes the consequences are not as grave but nonetheless those things do take place and it's what you learn from it more so than anything else. I think we've learned and gone forward."

Collingwood have improved from that early showing to the point they have won their past five games and moved into the top four.

But Essendon, fresh from belting Carlton last Friday night, can draw level with the Magpies on eight wins with another upset.

Malthouse conceded Essendon, with the likes of Andrew Lovett, Jason Winderlich, Alwyn Davey and Ricky Dyson playing, were quicker than his side. But the Magpies coach said controlling the ball was more important than foot speed in deciding the match.

The clash against Essendon is the first of a run of six games against opposition either currently inside the eight or vying to play finals, and Malthouse agreed he would get a better indication of the worth of his side in a month.

"You can have falsehoods and the most important thing is that you come away towards the end of the season knowing you've played a few of these sides and you've actually done OK against them," he said.

"That's the test for us."

Showers are forecast on Friday, which could have a bearing on a large anticipated crowd.

Adding to the stakes, this will be the first Collingwood-Essendon clash since the last round of 2003 where the rivals have played late in the season and been set to contest the finals.

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