NATHAN Buckley has lashed out at "absolute fabrications" from the media after a report that Fremantle coach Ross Lyon had approached Collingwood about coaching the club in 2018.
Perth broadcaster Brad Hardie made the sensational claim on 6PR radio and the story has since been angrily rebutted by the Dockers.
Buckley echoed Lyon's disappointment that the story was aired and said Hardie should be held to account for it.
"You guys have got to take a good look at yourself and your constituents," Buckley said after the Pies' 27-point loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday night.
"Was I disappointed in Brad Hardie? I think it's more a media story than a football story.
"You (the media) don't need to take leaps of faith. You guys know the ones (reporters) that do the due diligence and do your work and support your suppositions with fact, and you also know the ones that take leaps of faith. You've got to hold those blokes to account.
"How can you let someone come up with absolute fabrications, who's in your industry? That's the key question."
Lyon earlier on Sunday said: "I am bitterly disappointed that such so-called journalism even sees the light of day."
Collingwood's faint hopes of playing finals in 2017 were finally crushed by the Power on Sunday, but the Pies again brave with key players missing.
They closed to within eight points in the third term and were within three kicks late in the match before Port steadied with two late goals.
Skipper Scott Pendlebury (finger), Daniel Wells (thigh) and Levi Greenwood (knee) all missed the clash through injury, while Brodie Grundy was suspended.
Buckley couldn't fault the effort of the undermanned Magpies, pointing to the fact that they won the contested ball and clearance counts. But he added that Port dominated the flow of the match for long periods and took no comfort from another competitive loss.
"The general flow of play, Port Adelaide were able to control for the most part," Buckley said.
"We had our moments and we were able to stay competitive.
"We hoped to win. We came here to win both contest ball and clearance and we won both of those.
"Our tackle efficiency was down a little bit. We thought that (Ollie) Wines and (Chad) WIngard shrugged a few of our tackles and we've got to improve that."
Buckley said Mason Cox "didn't look out of place" in his first game as the No.1 ruckman, and also complemented his leaders.
Collingwood is now 8-10-1 and would improve on last season's 9-13 record with a win in either of the its last two matches against Geelong and Melbourne at the MCG.
But Buckley said the win-loss record was frustrating given how competitive Collingwood had been this year.
"We've played some pretty good footy this year," Buckley said.
"For the most part, we've seen some really strong effort.
"As a coach, I sit here relatively proud of their effort."
Jordan De Goey (groin) and Will Hoskin-Elliott (hip) were both sore during the contest but played out the match. Buckley said they would be assessed during the week.
Daniel Wells is a chance to return to face the Cats.