The presence of Tyson Goldsack alone suggests Collingwood will be better placed to pump up the pressure in their forward line on Sunday against Carlton.
The Magpies have slumped to consecutive defeats for the first time this AFL season, with coach Nathan Buckley lamenting their patchy team defence in losses to the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn.
That problem might end with under-siege backmen being outmarked, but it starts at the other end of the ground.
“It’s on the forwards as much as it is the midfielders and backs. It’s called team defence for a reason,” Collingwood forwards coach Matthew Lappin said.
“We need better forward-line pressure.”
The return of Goldsack, renowned for his ability to create turnovers, will help in that regard against the Blues.
Goldsack is back after missing the two defeats due to a knee injury.
The 27-year-old might have been absent over the past fortnight, but Lappin has continued to use footage of his tackles, smothers and harassing as examples of what’s required.
“If the players get sick of us referring to him as our best pressure player – well, they’ve just got to get used to it,” Lappin said.
“He’s the best and you’ve got to model yourself on the best.
“We challenge Jarryd Blair, Jamie Elliott and Josh Thomas and all our players to match his pressure and intensity.”
Steele Sidebottom also returns for the ‘Pies after serving a three-match ban.
Lappin, who played 196 games for the Blues and has been an assistant coach at Carlton and Collingwood, knows there is something special about the two clubs’ rivalry.
“You’d have to be living in a cave not to pick up on that hype a little bit but, when the ball is bounced, the players will be focused and it just becomes another game,” he said.
The rivals will be playing for the Peter Mac Cup, which aims to raise funds and awareness for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.