Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says a shift in the club’s culture and mindset is the reason behind their meteoric rise this season.
Pressure was mounting at the Holden Centre last year after the Pies looked set to miss finals for a fourth straight campaign amid a mid-season review, with coach Nathan Buckley set to come out of contract.
And after handing Buckley a two-year contract extension, McGuire said he has noticed a shift in the Collingwood’s coaches’ attitude.
“I think he’s a lot more relaxed, he has invested far more in the playing group and everyone around him and he’s doing now what he has to do and that is be a coach and a mentor,” McGuire told SEN’s Crunch Time.
“It was the footy club, and Nathan, and everyone, and me (that needed to change). I’ve come at it with a different approach this year.
“A lot of people think the panacea is to sack everybody, particularly in the media, and that’s not the way to go in life or in business.
“It’s like anything, you have to actually admit it to yourself that things are wrong and start looking for the right solutions as opposed to band-aids and excuses.”
The Pies president said the players did not want Buckley to be sacked, but conceded that may not have been the case a few years ago.
“The players wanted Nathan Buckley. Was that the case 3-4 years ago? Probably not, but certainly it was at this stage and this young generation coming through have a completely different mindset to those that were here in 2012,” he said.
Collingwood currently sit third on the ladder despite enduring a crippling season of injuries, and McGuire noted he could not remember the last time he has enjoyed football so much.
“It’s been another year where we’ve just been absolutely slaughtered with injuries, but at the same time there is a tremendous optimism around the club and a great feeling that I haven’t felt for a number of years at Collingwood,” he said.
“I haven’t enjoyed a year like this for a long, long time.
“We just needed to get the fabric right and I think we’d been a little bit out of step with ourselves in the last few years.”
McGuire added that Buckley had tweaked something that seemed to be working so well for the Pies during their seven-game win streak.
“Nathan’s grown his beard back this week,” McGuire announced.