Pendlebury backs Bucks for new deal

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    Collingwood AFL captain Scott Pendlebury wants coach Nathan Buckley re-signed on a multi-year deal, adamant he is the right man for the job.

    The injured star midfielder added that the club’s guarantee last month, that Buckley was safe until the end of the season, meant the players were no longer playing in fear.

    Since that July 10 guarantee, Collingwood have won three games and drawn the other.

    Magpies players routinely have backed Buckley this year as speculation rages about his future, but Pendlebury’s comments on a club podcast are particularly strong.

    Buckley is out of contract at the end of the season.

    While the Magpies are set to miss the finals for the fourth year in a row during Buckley’s reign, Pendlebury wants him retained.

    “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s the right person to coach this club, not just next year, but for a couple of years,” he told the Jock and Journo podcast.

    “He is coaching really well. He has stayed strong in his beliefs on footy.

    “Our performances all year have been strong apart from a three-week block after the bye.”

    Pendlebury said until the club confirmed Buckley was safe until the end of this campaign, the pressure affected the players.

    “It just felt like every week, even earlier in the year, if we lose a game, ‘what’s going to happen?'” Pendlebury said.

    “Even if we win a game, it wasn’t even a win. It was a relief that we weren’t going to hear about our coach being potentially fired.

    “When the club came out and said ‘he has got until the end of the year’, as it was always thought, the pressure is off. We are not playing in fear every week.

    “It took the pressure off the playing group that you weren’t going to lose the coach if you lost a game of footy.”

    Football manager Geoff Walsh is conducting a review of their football department operations.

    © AAP 2017
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