COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley believes Saturday's exhilarating interstate win over Adelaide will momentarily release pressure on his besieged club, but he says he is more excited about the impact the victory will have on his young players.
The Pies entered the round with a 2-9 win-loss record, and the uncontracted Buckley's future has been the focus of much speculation this season.
Collingwood has also dealt with drama at a board level, with former Channel 9 boss Jeff Browne launching a challenge for the Collingwood presidency this week.
But amid the chaos, Collingwood delivered a thrilling five-point victory over the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, led by Jamie Elliott who kicked a career-high six goals.
Buckley acknowledged the win's importance during a difficult period for the club.
"[This win releases pressure] maybe for five or 10 minutes," Buckley said.
"But [the board drama] is at a level beyond where the players and coaches are focusing on right now. Our job is to prepare and try and execute as best we can.
"The thing that I have in my head is we had six players with under 10 games …. Trent Bianco, Max Lynch and Jay Rantall just played in their first win and that's exciting for them."
CROWS v PIES Full match coverage and stats
The Pies have come under fire recently for their slow and dull ball movement, but against the Crows they looked completely differently, moving the ball swiftly through the corridor.
Despite this, Buckley said his message to his players on ball movement hasn't changed.
"The message was no different to the last three or four weeks," he said.
"We feel we didn't defend quite as well today through the middle part of the game but no doubt our best offense comes off really good defence and the messages were all the same.
"We still feel we can be a side that balances up really well on both sides of the ball."
Buckley was full of praise for the lively Elliot, who kicked four goals in the first quarter alone, even though it was his first game back from a fractured leg.
"His talent is unquestioned and his smarts in front of the ball we've missed," he said.
"To be able to have that sort of impact coming straight back it's a credit to him, it's a credit to our medical and fitness staff that they were able to get him in that kind of shape.
"And even late in the game to kick the winning goal, it's a pretty impressive performance."
Meanwhile Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks bemoaned his side's dismal first term, labelling it their worst quarter of the season.
Collingwood piled on five goals to one during the term to lead by 23 points at the first break.
He said it was not just the skills he was disappointed with but also the decision making.
"We were picking off targets that weren't there. We made the wrong decision over and over and if it wasn't the wrong decision, we didn't execute," Nicks said.
"It's fair to say that was probably the worst quarter of footy we've played with the ball in hand.
"Unfortunately, more than that, to allow a team that had been taking uncontested marks to have 40 marks plus in the first quarter uncontested … it was one we all shook our head about at quarter-time."