Collingwood head coach Nathan Buckley fronted the media in Melbourne on Thursday ahead of Saturday night’s Preliminary Final against the GIANTS at the MCG. 

Buckley had plenty to say about the game, covering Toby Greene, Lachie Whitfield as well as the last time the two sides met.

On Collingwood’s Team:
Despite Jordan De Goey running strongly at training, the exciting forward definitely won’t play on Saturday as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

With De Goey and Levi Greenwood (knee) both missing from the side that beat Geelong by 10 points in the Qualifying Final a fortnight ago, there’s plenty of talk around who will take their places.

Buckley indicated that Ben Reid is likely to come into the side.

“Reidy’s been up and about, obviously Travis Varcoe, James Aish, Matty Sharenberg and Jack Madgen are a couple of guys who have been on the cusp. Josh Daicos is the other.

“All of them have got different strengths that they bring to the table (but) clearly Reid is that aerial threat if we go that way and Varcoe is a small forward, as is Daicos who can push up on the wing.

“Without giving the team away, we’ll have a really well-balanced side to play the way that we want to play.” 

On Greene and Whitfield:
The Collingwood coach also touched on the Toby Greene situation and Lachie Whitfield being confirmed as an out with appendicitis. Buckley said that they’ve not paid too much attention to the Greene situation and that Collingwood are also missing a number of key players. 

“We won’t have Jordy (De Goey) and Tom Langdon’s the forgotten man, he won’t be around. They’ve got a couple; Callan Ward won’t be playing either. We all have significant outs and players that won’t be able to take part. 

“In the end my belief is it’s the best team that performs on the day or night that gets the rewards.

“There’ll be 22 fit GIANTS players to contend with and they’ll have 22 fit Collingwood players to deal with.”

Last Time We Met:
Buckley was asked about the GIANTS’ win over the Magpies in round 18. 

“It was round 18 and we’d come off a really solid, strong, close win against West Coast over there,” he said.

“We were ambushed that night, there was no doubt we were beaten in tight. They were harder and cleaner around the football and I think the stuff that you saw in our backline and their forward line was a reflection of how poor we were around the ball. 

“We’re under no illusions of what the GIANTS are capable of. Even that week they had no Kelly, Coniglio or Ward through the midfield and they were able to put together a team that went to school on us and defeated us quite convincingly.

“The lessons in that are probably more on the mental side than the tactical side. We understand that we didn’t present ourselves at our best that day and if we do that again the result will be the same.

“I’m pretty confident that we’ll be better around the ball.”