Buckley has labelled the criticism of Collingwood’s start to the season as “premature and disproportionate”, and knows the best way to silence the doubters begins with a win over last season’s grand finalists on Friday night.
“Every game is (season-defining), you can’t hide away from that. But it is early in the season,” Buckley said.
“We’re not looking any further ahead than Friday, but they are all season-defining, so there’s your headline.”
“The focus on us at the moment is both premature and disproportionate, there are eight other sides on zero and two.
“We can’t do much about the things we can’t control. We really have got to look after the challenges we are going to face against a grand finalist from last year … we look forward to those opportunities.”
Collingwood have recalled former Roo Levi Greenwood into their side for Friday’s clash, after hip surgery was scheduled to keep him out for the opening month of the season.
Greenwood’s recovery has come along better than expected but the same can’t be said for forward Jamie Elliott, who Buckley has confirmed will play in the VFL on Saturday after overcoming an ankle injury.
Daniel Wells is still a little while away from making his first appearance in Collingwood colours, as the 32-year-old is set to make take the field in the VFL the following weekend.