Pies must cement top-four: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies must cement top-four: Malthouse

By Roger Vaughan 02/08/2009 04:47:47 PM Comments (0)

Now they have sorted out their coaching for the next five years and confirmed a top-eight finish, Collingwood are shooting for the AFL premiership.

The Magpies scored their 12th win on Saturday night when they recovered from the early loss of Simon Prestigiacomo and a sluggish first half to thrash Brisbane by 40 points.

It came a few days after they announced the Mick Malthouse-Nathan Buckley coaching succession plan.

Capping off a great week for the Magpies, Adelaide lost a tight match to Geelong earlier on Saturday, meaning Collingwood are now a game clear in fourth spot.

But the Magpies go to Adelaide next Saturday night to play the Crows and they must win to keep their momentum with four matches left until the finals.

"It's no longer good enough just to say we want to make the eight, the goal must be with four to go, not to lose position," Malthouse said.

"That in itself is the next phase.

"There are still four games to go and a massive one again next weekend."

It will be a big "eight-point game" - Collingwood go two games clear of Adelaide with a win, but are back level with the Crows should they lose.

Malthouse is particularly pleased with the state of his playing list a month out from the finals.

He said less-experienced players such as ruckman Cameron Wood, Jaxson Barham, Dayne Beams and Steele Sidebottom were gaining vital experience, particularly under finals-type pressure.

"We've got 36 players that we've used and really we're not embarrassed about playing any of them," Malthouse said.

"We've seen enough of some blokes to know they can play and ... the next step is to ensure some of these young kids have these types of games against quality opposition and see how they roll.

"We've played some big ones in the last few weeks and to expose Barham, Wood, Sidebottom and Beams to the intensity as it gets closer to the end of the season, it's a good indicator as to whether they can actually stand up."

Prestigiacomo managed to finish the game after he was left very groggy from a knock in the first few minutes.

He went forward when he returned to the field and the key defender had two rare shots for goal, but missed.

"At one stage there I wasn't going to put him back on, but given he was okay from three-quarter time ... he was okay," Malthouse said.

"The doctors would never let him go back on if they didn't think he was okay."

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