COLLINGWOOD vice-captain Taylor Adams claims Jordan De Goey has been made a "scapegoat" by external detractors during the Magpies' tough start to the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
De Goey was reportedly told to lift his standards by senior teammates last week, with Adams one of those said to have confronted the underperforming star.
De Goey responded in strong fashion, kicking six goals as Collingwood snapped a five-match losing streak against winless North Melbourne on Saturday.
"There was quite a bit of media attention around Jordy last week and he seems to be the scapegoat when Collingwood aren't going well," Adams told reporters on Monday.
"Some of the stuff that was reported was inaccurate. My conversation was leaked from inside our change rooms and I'm not sure how that happens, but the (detail around the) conversation was inaccurate.
"Jordan and I have got a great relationship, we've been working together for a number of years now in tandem and trying to get each other to play more consistently.
"That's what we did throughout the week and our conversation was based around one of support to offer him any help he needed whilst I was in rehab - to watch extra vision, to do extra sessions and just to be a sounding board for him.
"He's coming off a concussion over in Perth (in round five) and played a quieter game (against Gold Coast) and was targeted by the media.
"I'm glad he came out and played the way he did (against North Melbourne). His performance was really strong and he had a great week on the track last week, so he'll look to emulate that this week."
Pressed on the leaked conversation, Adams said the story had been blown out of proportion.
"He knew what had happened and was really comfortable with how the club handled it," Adams said.
"He had the full support of the playing group, the coaching staff and the administration of the football club.
"Jordan De Goey wasn't the reason we lost the game against Gold Coast, although it sounded like that last week.
"It was just pleasing to see him go out and perform the way he did."
Adams said De Goey's work rate was the key to the star forward and part-time midfielder getting the most out of his obvious talent.
"He was instrumental in the first half against North and any time the ball got within 15 metres of him it looked like he was going to kick a goal," Adams added.
"He's the sort of player that once his tail's up he's really hard to stop.
"For him it's just work rate and continuing to get himself around the ball as much as he possibly can, whether that's forward or in the midfield."
Collingwood travel to take on this season's surprise packets Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.