DEFIANT Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is adamant that the wins will come for his struggling side as the spotlight intensifies on his own future and off-field upheaval at board level.
The brave Magpies produced one of their best efforts of the season against Port Adelaide on Sunday afternoon, but ultimately fell to their eighth loss to remain in 16th place and well out of finals contention.
Just what the future holds for Buckley and one of the biggest clubs in the land remains unanswered, but the Pies coach is confident that his side is on the improve and can do plenty of damage in the back half of the season.
"if we set that as a minimum expectation going forward, we will win a lot of games of footy," a despondent Buckley said after the loss.
"We feel like we should have won today ... if we bring that kind of energy, we will sing the song a lot more than we have."
Buckley said expectations have changed in recent weeks, but he believes his side is on the right track.
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"We expect to perform a lot better in this next period and it doesn't matter who we play," Buckley said.
"We felt we should have won today. Winning is a habit and we are not in that habit at the moment and we haven't really earned it. Today we earned it, but we didn't get it."
Buckley is out of contact at the end of this season, while there remains some tension at board level following the highly publicised departure of Eddie McGuire at the start of the year and the recent appointment of Mark Korda.
Before the match, Magpies fans turned out in droves to sign a petition to force an extraordinary general meeting and a spill of the board.
But Buckley didn't want to get drawn into the off-field issues and said he remains focused on what happens on the field only.
"There is a lot of focus on plenty of things that none of those boys or I are in control of," Buckley said.
"We work on our ground balls, our marking, our offence, our defence, there is plenty of stuff to put our mind to. We don't need any more to clog it up.
"We have got our own work to do and we are endeavouring to get on with it."
While disappointed with how his side performed at the MCG, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley was happy to bank another four points and stay in touch with the top four.
"It was scrappy and hard fought and we got the four points," Hinkley said.
"From our point of view, it was a clear style that Collingwood wanted to hold on to the ball against us, keep the ball off us, work us over in defence and we stuck at it and we won.
"Sometimes you put a season together and there will be poor performances and not very often you get a poor performance and get a win out of it."
Hinkley knows his side isn't playing at its best, but still believes it is well placed to go better than its third-placed finish last season.
"I am very much (glass) half full as we are seven and three (wins and losses)," Hinkley said.
"Ever the optimist I would say that I want to be 10 and zero, but in AFL football I know seven and three is a pretty good result."