Darcy Moore walks from the field with his teammates after Collingwood's loss to Essendon at the MCG in round 17, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

COLLINGWOOD vice-captain Jeremy Howe is adamant injury-hit Collingwood can overcome stuttering form to get its premiership defence back on track.

But he concedes they may need to get back to basics to do so.

The Magpies sit ninth on percentage after consecutive defeats to Gold Coast and Essendon and have a crunch clash with Geelong at the MCG on Friday night.

Key players like Darcy Moore and Jordan De Goey are down on form while Brody Mihocek, Jamie Elliott, Beau McCreery, Mason Cox and Tom Mitchell headline a testing injury list.

When asked if Collingwood could still bring everything together to contend for a second consecutive premiership, Howe said: "Absolutely".

"I feel like we had a really slow start and we got some things right especially going up into that Easter Thursday against Brisbane and it felt like we kind of kicked our season off from there," he said.

"Potentially we've got to go back to our fundamentals and understand - we know what works, it's just a matter of doing it for long enough."


Collingwood lost its first three matches before steadying its season, but coach Craig McRae said his charges had looked more disconnected against the Suns and Bombers over the past fortnight.

"Well, the disconnect probably comes from just being inconsistent on game day," Howe said.

"When everything's flowing, everyone's kind of in sync and things seem to happen.

"At the moment with these armwrestles that's happening in games, unfortunately we're not holding our momentum for long enough and it probably looks a little bit disconnected out there and our offence is not really helping our defence and vice-versa.

"So look, we're gonna have a really good strong week. We started well today. (We'll) get some education thrown at us, review the game heavily and then look to take on Geelong, who are a quality outfit."


Howe had a scare on Monday, heading for precautionary scans after experiencing hamstring tightness.

"I've been given the all clear," he said.

"So nothing to worry about, which is nice."

The swingman kicked two goals against Essendon and could spend more time up forward after Mihocek suffered a torn pec, and is set to miss the rest of the season.


"It's an option," Howe said.

"I generally have conversations with 'Fly' (McRae) during the week about what's going to happen and where I'm going to play.

"I'm more than happy to play that role for the short-term.

"My ideal spot's probably in the backline and whether or not I go back there this week and we figure something else out (I'm not sure).

"But we don’t really sit still with those kinds of things. Fly's pretty happy to throw some magnets around and try some things."

Dan McStay could return via the VFL from his torn ACL this week, while Howe was confident Darcy Cameron (ribs) would be fit to face the Cats.