THE "HYSTERIA" around Darcy Moore's output is unnecessary, according to Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury, who will advise his young teammate to block out negative commentary.
Moore, 21, has kicked just one goal in four games, prompting AFL commentator Tim Watson to question whether the Magpie has the "football brain" to find the ball.
Former Essendon champion goalkicker Matthew Lloyd also told AFL.com.au's Access All Areas that Moore's style of play meant he "would never be a No.1 forward".
Pendlebury said he would tell his younger teammate to keep doing what he was doing, and positive form would follow.
"I'll have a chat to him not to listen to you guys," Pendlebury said on Tuesday.
"That would be my chat, to keep playing your role that we expect you to.
"Internally, he's flying for balls, he's competing, he's having one or two shots on goal a game.
"We're not expecting him to kick six goals to win us the game; it's a whole-22 mentality that's going to win us games.
"Sorry for your egos, but I'll be saying 'don't listen'.
"In general, I think the hysteria around his performance is unnecessary ... he's playing his role for the side.
"We're not kicking many goals as a side and to say he needs to be kicking more ... you don't just get a free shot in football.
"He's working hard and it will come for him."
Collingwood recruit Daniel Wells is poised to play his first game in the black and white next Tuesday on Anzac Day against Essendon, after getting through a VFL hit-out on the weekend.
Pendlebury said Wells' inclusion would help the Pies address the biggest issue in their game: kicking.
"It would be great to have 'Wellsy' make his debut," he said.
"He was clearly the best player in the comp last year at kicking the ball inside 50 and I think we're clearly the worst side at that.
"If he's fit and recovers well from his game on the weekend, I assume he would play."
There has been some suggestion Pendlebury is carrying an injury, fuelled by the intriguing incident against St Kilda that saw the five-time best-and-fairest marooned on the bench for eight minutes at the start of the third quarter.
While he and the Magpies have since put that down to a mix-up in match-ups, and a flurry of goals making it impossible for him to be rotated on, it enhanced speculation he's not 100 per cent fit.
Pendlebury flatly denied that was the case.
"I'm really well. I think this is the best I've felt after four rounds," he said.
"My body is in good nick.
"If I was injured, I wouldn't have come back on."