Buckley’s prickly response to members’ petition

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has issued a prickly response to a reporter after being questioned over a pre-game petition by the club’s members in the attempt to force a leadership spill.

While all the focus this week has been Collingwood’s off-field dramas, Buckley’s men put in a gallant effort against Port Adelaide, with the Power squeaking an 8. 11. (59) to 8. 10. (58) win at the MCG.

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When questioned about whether he had a message to the individuals involved in the pre-game petition and the leadership politics, Buckley said he and his players had enough on their respective plates.

“I don’t have a message for them, I coach a footy team,” he said.

“We just 23 players go about their business doing what we do inside the white line in our endeavours to play the best football we possibly do.

“We’ve come off a week of preparing to do that against an opponent and guess what, we’ll do that in the next weekly cycle as well.

“There’s a lot of focus on plenty of things that none of those boys or I are in control of, ask the questions of the people that are.”

Buckley was pressed further by the reporter, who asked how the playing group was able to insulate itself from the leadership controversy.

“We work on our ground ball, our marking, our connection, our offence, our defence, there’s plenty of things for us to fill our minds with, we don’t need anything more to clog it up,” he said.

“We’re going to have our own work to do and we’re endeavouring to get on with it.”

Dual All-Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy was at his best for Collingwood in the loss, kicking two goals to go along with 23 disposals and 33 hitouts, while youngster Beau McCreery added three goals.

Sitting 16th on the ladder, Collingwood’s task gets no easier in Round 11 when it hosts a high-flying Geelong side at the MCG.

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