Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has played his worst AFL match in a decade, adding to their troubles as the pressure mounts on coach Nathan Buckley.
Pendlebury said he was ill before the previous week’s loss to St Kilda, but offered no excuses for his poor Anzac Day performance amid speculation he is carrying an injury.
Pendlebury said he had done the most running against Essendon out of his five matches so far this season, but simply played poorly.
“Yesterday was my worst game that I’ve played in 10 years,” he said on a Collingwood podcast.
“I just wasn’t impactful.
“It certainly wasn’t through a lack of effort or running or workrate.”
Pendlebury only had 20 possessions against the Bombers and called it a shocker.
“I was very disappointed … I was very filthy I didn’t play my part,” he said.
“It doesn’t sit well, knowing you let the side down.
“Yesterday, I fell away – I played a bad game and it was a really bad game, it wasn’t serviceable even.”
While Collingwood are struggling at 1-4, Pendlebury said they had identified their problems and are working hard to fix them.
“We want to be smart with the footy – we want to be quick when we can, we want to go (through the) corridor when it’s open, we want to go boundary when that’s open,” he said.
“Clearly, we’re not executing that … it is something we’re working on.
“It’s going to take more than one week to fix, but hopefully it doesn’t take six or seven.”
The Magpies only have a five-day break before they played unbeaten Geelong, but Pendlebury does not see the short gap between games as a bad thing.
“Playing on a five-day break after a loss is the best thing that can happen,” he said.
“You get a chance to go back out there so quickly, you don’t have to wait.
“Last week, just waiting nine days to play Anzac Day after the St Kilda game, you want to get back out there as quick as you can, to address the issues.”