Magpies write off AFL shocker vs Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies write off AFL shocker vs Cats

By Sam Lienert 05/09/2011 06:06:09 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell suspects while his team-mates were playing Geelong last Friday night, their minds were already on this Saturday's AFL final against West Coast.

Coach Mick Malthouse agreed it was only "human" that after winning the 2010 flag, this year's pre-season competition and sewing up the minor premiership, his players took a mental breather.

Maxwell, vying to return from a thumb fracture in the qualifying final against the Eagles, predicted a different mindset on Saturday.

"It sharpens the focus," Maxwell said of the 96-point pounding from the Cats in Friday night's final-round dead rubber.

"You've got to remember that we've known that we were going to finish top four for weeks now and probably the past couple of weeks we've known we were going to play West Coast.

"We didn't play our best in the same round last year. We lost to Hawthorn.

"At times, you have to forgive players for starting to look a little bit ahead, because they know there's finals on the horizon and that's why we play football.

"We would have preferred to have won and played better, but we can't go back and change that now, so our focus is on this week and what we have to do and that's what we spoke about today."

Malthouse said while he spent longer reviewing the horror night against the Cats than his players, he was also prepared to largely write it off.

"Am I concerned over a 20-2 year and the last one happens to be a flogging?" he said.

"I could take it that way, but I'm more inclined to say the team itself hasn't let the club or supporters down for a long period of time.

"You've got to remember we've been up for a hell of a long time.

"It may have escaped a lot of people, but we went right through the (pre-season competition) without a breather, if you like.

"We won that, we went into a season with a one-week break on top of that. That's coming off last year, when we went an extra week.

"So I just think that when you analyse the whole lot, we've been up for a heck of a long time and there is a human reaction."

Malthouse said the Magpies were likely to play both Darren Jolly and Cameron Wood against the Eagles, to combat West Coast star ruck duo Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui.

He also forecast a difficult decision on whether to recall first-choice defenders, Nick Maxwell and Leon Davis, from injury and Heath Shaw from suspension all at once.

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