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Buckley blames 'nutted' midfield for Collingwood's forward woes

'Not enough supply' Watch Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley's post-match press conference
Travis Cloke of the Magpies looks dejected after a loss during the 2014 AFL round 03 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Melbourne on April 05, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Travis Cloke continued his poor record against Geelong, going goalless on Saturday night
COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley denies Travis Cloke needs more assistance from his teammates, despite the key forward's slow start to the season.

For the second time this year, Cloke was held goalless as Geelong defender Tom Lonergan once again negated the 27-year-old's impact on the scoreboard.

Cloke has scored just two goals for season 2014, both of which came in the Pies' round-two win over Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

As he did in the round-one loss to Fremantle, Cloke failed to register a score during Saturday night's 11-point loss to Geelong.

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Games against the Cats haven't been happy hunting grounds for Cloke, who has now kicked just four goals in the past four such encounters.

But Buckley said the supply to Cloke was the issue and not necessarily Cloke's form, with Geelong winning Saturday night's midfield battle comprehensively.

"Clokey was beaten," Buckley acknowledged post-match.

"We don't rely on him to kick the winning score, we expect the rest of our forward line to tip in and get that done. We're not going to win many games with 11 goals but you're not going to kick many winning scores with just 42 entries.

"I thought our defence held up really well, I thought we were nutted in the midfield and I thought our forwards lacked supply in some way. We scored at about 50 per cent which is OK. We just didn't get enough supply."

One forward who did stand up for the Pies was the high-flying Jamie Elliott.

The 21-year-old leaped over Geelong star Jimmy Bartel in the second term, almost certainly earning him a nomination for mark of the year – an honour he won last season.

Elliott's five goals included three in the final term to put the Pies within five points of the Cats with three minutes remaining.

"Jamie's work rate was excellent," Buckley said.

"He kept putting himself in the spots, took his chances and won his one-on-ones when the time was there. The rest of our forward line could learn a little bit from that. He's a dangerous match-up. He's hard to stop."

Several of Collingwood's star midfielders struggled with only Steele Sidebottom (29) and Dayne Beams (28) in the Pies' best players for the match.

Scott Pendlebury was tagged heavily by Geelong youngster Cam Guthrie and despite gathering 26 disposals was far from influential.

Collingwood's doctors were kept busy with Beams, Nick Maxwell, Sam Dwyer and Heritier Lumumba all hobbling off during the match and receiving treatment in the rooms.

Beams, Maxwell and Lumumba all played out the game, while Dwyer was subbed off for Taylor Adams in the third term.

The coach said he was confident all four would be available for selection for Friday night's crucial clash against Richmond at the MCG.

"We've had casualties from the game. We probably had three or four blokes who were pretty sore throughout," Buckley said.

"Sammy [Dwyer]'s no worse than a couple of others but [his substitution] was to inject some run through the midfield and get Taylor into the mix.

"Richmond played today. A six-day break – it's going to be the same for both of us. We're pretty confident we'll field a really competitive, fit side ready to go."