‘Not have been shocked if he got the a***’
COLLINGWOOD captain Scott Pendlebury has revealed the toll of the pressure on coach Nathan Buckley last year, saying players didn't know week to week if the coach would keep his job.
Buckley's position was questioned all year as the Magpies battled to finish 13th on the ladder.
The coach was re-signed in August for two more seasons and Pendlebury said the atmosphere was totally different at the club this season.
"I think every player was worried every week because you didn't know," Pendlebury said on the Jock & Journo podcast.
"I wouldn't have been shocked either way if Round 3 he was re-signed, or Round 3 he had have got the arse because you just didn't know.
"There was just so much pressure on this football club. Credit to how he handled himself last year, I thought he was brilliant."
Pendlebury said he was always a Buckley fan and the Pies should have re-signed him earlier.
"Every day there was a camera here waiting, whether we won or lost.
"No one knew what was going to happen and that is pretty unsettling for a playing group, and it wasn't (just) Bucks, it was all the coaches as well.
"It feels like we're back to being a football club that not everyone's talking about every single day."
"Who knows what would have happened if a different coach had come in here (and) decided the list isn't good enough.
"I was incredibly confident that we had the right man, we just needed time as a side (and to) get a better run with injuries."
Collingwood is in eighth place, on track to end a five-year finals drought and, Pendlebury said, a much happier place to be.
"It's always better if you're winning, but the way we're playing is the thing we enjoy the most," he said.
"There's excitement, there's run and dare, there's creativity but there's still that element that makes Collingwood Collingwood, that high-pressure side - tackle, chase, harass."