NATHAN Buckley doesn't expect to coach Collingwood beyond 2017 if the Magpies miss the finals next season.
The Magpies have not played finals since 2013 and sit 12th on the ladder with eight wins from 20 games in 2016.
Buckley told SEN radio there was "no way" he would presume to remain as coach if the Magpies did not play finals for a fourth consecutive year.
He said he understood "if we don't win, you don't stay" in the coaching caper but added that there was always circumstances that had to be taken into account too.
"There might be things outside of our control. We need things to fall into place as a program for us," he said.
"We need a little bit of luck, we need to be harder, we need to be more consistent — these are all things that we know are going to be the difference between us maximising our potential. It's not a talent thing," Buckley said.
"I'm on the hook flat out, we're all on the hook flat out for it and it's really important for us to make this work."
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire was less than impressed with Buckley's candid response and attempted to hose down its impact.
"He's put a bit of pressure on himself, Bucks, because he's too honest at times. He shouldn't even be answering that question at this stage of the game," McGuire told Fox Footy.
"He was asked the question, good on him for answering — but it's not even a story."
Collingwood has been competitive since the bye after having the early part of the season ruined by injuries and the poor form of key players.
Changes are expected within the football department with Buckley admitting that the club had spoken to former Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson, who was considering his options for next season.
He also said he considered delaying his planned succession of Mick Malthouse at the end of 2011 given the strong position the club was in at the time.
"Right so this is happening, we're talking about this publicly," Buckley said.
"I thought that clearly the side was going well and clearly we were playing in a significant vein of form.
"Mick was coaching really well and had a really strong connection with the players but the leadership of the club was really keen on just not looking at 2012 but looking beyond that to where we needed to get to.
"We had an understanding of where that was going to go and it wasn't until very late in the piece that Mick decided he didn't want to be a part of what was going forward.
"There's no doubt that had an impact because the plans for that were pretty well ensconced.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I'd contend that group could have possibly contended in 2012, which it did; maybe in 2013, which we didn't; but beyond that it was going to need regeneration anyway.
"Fundamentally, when I sat down with myself and others I asked do we as a club — and clearly this will sound bizarre given our on-field performance since, but if you really want to dig deep into that you'll see the reasons for it — but I fundamentally felt will I positively impact this environment and the football club for long-term success?"
Buckley conceded he did not have the full support of his players in the early stages of his tenure, but said that had since been rectified.
"We didn't have the locker room for a while, there were a lot of influences in that part of the club and we needed to change things up," he said.
"I think that accelerated it (my development as a coach).
"The influences on the playing group had had their success and were happy to just roll along.
"That's a tale for another time.
"Absolutely yeah (I have the locker room now) ... it's been a long haul."
- with staff writers