Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley did not hold back after his side’s woeful performance against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.
Rarely has an AFL team sitting second on the ladder with a 10-4 record looked in so much trouble.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has not held back, calling their 44-point loss to North Melbourne embarrassing and “as bad as it gets”.
The Magpies’ paltry 5.7 in the perfect indoor conditions at Marvel Stadium was their lowest score since 1995.
Collingwood has a massive month ahead, with games against Hawthorn, West Coast, GWS and Richmond.
“We might actually find out a little bit more about us in the next couple of weeks than we knew at this point,” Buckley said.
“We’re bloody embarrassed with the way we played.
“We have real pride about the people who represent this footy club.
“That was as bad as it gets.”
Buckley ruefully noted that he was wrong a week ago, when he called the narrow win over the Western Bulldogs their worst performance for some time.
“That’s as big a shellacking in general play … that you’ll see,” he said of Saturday night.
“The white flag went up from us.
“We look at it and we say all of the things we value in the way we’ve gone about our footy, we didn’t see at all.
“It’s inexplicable … it’s not something we saw coming, it’s not something we thought we were capable of. But in the end, we have to own it.”
Most damningly of all, Buckley effectively accused his team of elite sport’s worst four-letter word – soft.
“(Saturday) was the first time for a long time that we probably saw some really average physical efforts,” he said.
“It was plain for all to see – there was one side who bodylined the ball and ran hard and straight and there was another side that got out of the way a few times.
“It’s not easy to say, but it’s a reality.
“So there’s a question that rightfully should be asked of us and we need to answer.”
Adding to a filthy night, Ben Reid suffered another calf injury and Brayden Sier was concussed.
But regardless of Collingwood’s growing injury problems, Buckley is worried that his players did not help each other out against North.
“You can lose a game of footy and not perform at your best, but you don’t want to ever have your teammates question whether you had their back or not,” he said.
“Potentially, we could question that – that’s how poor a performance it was and how disappointed we are by it.
“It leaves us with a question to answer.”