NATHAN Buckley can't wait to unleash the Adam Treloar-Darcy Moore partnership on the competition for years to come, after the young stars almost lifted Collingwood to an unforgettable victory over the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. 

While focus was rightfully on the performances of Treloar and Moore, Buckley also confirmed star defender Ben Reid would almost certainly miss the rest of the season with a knee complaint.

Treloar was best afield in a gut-wrenching three-point loss to the Bulldogs, racking up a game-high 34 touches, including 22 after half-time, in what was an intriguing battle against Bulldogs midfielder Marcus Bontempelli.

Five talking points: Western Bulldogs v Collingwood

"There's pot shots coming from all angles for anyone at the Collingwood Football Club at the moment… but Adam Treloar is not someone who should be copping it," Buckley said.

"He's got great wheels. He can win the ball inside, he can get outside. He can clean up his use and we can make more of his touches, but he just breaks the game up. He's going to be a very good midfielder in the competition and he'll be very important for us going forward."

In Travis Cloke's absence, Moore spearheaded the Magpies' forward line, as he booted three goals and took six marks (three contested) against a Bulldogs defence that struggled to contend with his height and speed.

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"We'll build a forward line around Darcy for the next ten years and he's ready to go now," Buckley said.

"He's only played 25 games and he's ready to impact the competition in a big way and he's going to be really important for us starting now."

Moore's performance was made more impressive for the way he returned from a week's layoff with a hamstring injury, while he also suffered a heavy blow to the head when he went tumbling into the LED boundary signage in the second quarter.

"It looked pretty full on, pretty significant. He's got LED dimples in the side of his head. It wasn't a small knock but he bounced back from that OK," Buckley said.

Reid, who missed the game against the Bulldogs, has been carrying a niggling knee injury for a number of months and the Magpies have conceded it would be better to put him on ice for the rest of the season.

"He's been carrying that knee for the most part of the year and it's reached the tipping point," Buckley said.

"It's unlikely we'll see him back for the rest of the year.

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"He'll be better than what we've got out of him in season 2016 after his last two years. He's still been running around at 85 per cent fit, so when he gets that knee right and when he's 100 per cent fit, touch wood, we'll be better again."

Buckley said the way his team performed against the Bulldogs was what he had come to expect of his side post-bye.

"We just lost a game of footy that we had every intention of winning and we could have and should have," Buckley said.

"That's what all Collingwood people should be expecting from their team, and they were bleeding on it last week, as we were, and that's my challenge as a coach and it's Pendles' (Scott Pendlebury) as the senior leader of our playing group, to make sure that what we saw tonight is the minimum standard and we don't see the games that we played last week."