Neeld loss no worry for Magpies: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Neeld loss no worry for Magpies: Malthouse

Sam Lienert 17/09/2011 03:57:56 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse expects a "seamless" adjustment to the loss of midfield coach Mark Neeld, saying the AFL club's midfielders could coach themselves if they had to.

Malthouse was full of praise for the job his senior assistant, who cut ties with the Magpies after being announced on Saturday as Melbourne's new head coach, had done in four years with Collingwood.

But he said the loss of one member of the coaching group would not be a major stumbling block to the Magpies' push for back-to-back premierships.

"Mark has been outstanding in his role and we totally appreciate that, but importantly, we understand it's not a one-man job," Malthouse told Melbourne's SEN radio on Saturday.

"I could quite easily just hand it straight over to the midfield.

"I could hand it over to the midfield and they could run it themselves.

"Or I could step into it, or we could just do bits and pieces."

Malthouse said he had a firm idea of how he would reshuffle the responsibilities of the Magpies' remaining assistants ahead of Friday night's preliminary final against Hawthorn.

He said the aim would be to cause the minimum amount of disruption.

"You can't afford to get too hooked up and try to make three changes to achieve one," the Magpies coach said.

"We're very comfortable with our set-up. If one man goes down, it's not going to be the end of the world.

"What it will mean is a little bit of a readjustment, move the resources around a little bit."

Malthouse said it helped that the Magpies had already ended the seasons of several players, either because of injury or the fact they were too inexperienced to be considered for finals.

"So we're down to a certain number, so we've been able to release a few coaches anyway, in regard to the workload during the week and they'll just take over that and absorb that," he said.

Malthouse said he could not have contemplated allowing Neeld to stay on, as it would have been "ludicrous" to have the Melbourne coach remain on the Magpies coaching staff.

He said even if Neeld did stay, his mind would have been "a million miles away."

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