Collingwood are likely to swing multiple changes for Round 2 after suffering successive defeats to start their 2024 campaign.

The Magpies lost to Sydney by 33 points at the MCG on Friday night, with the visitors dominating the turnover game to back up their impressive Opening Round display.

For the reigning premiers, the term 'premiership hangover' won't come to mind as senior coach Craig McRae and his men plan to 'trust the process'.

When questioned on his side's disappointing start to their flag defence, McRae said he will back in the same system that saw the Magpies reach the summit last season.

"That's probably a natural thing to say, but that's not how we think," McRae said.

"We have trust in the process. We try to get better every single day, that's been our mantra for two years and it's not going to change.

"Our system has been really strong for us in recent times. So we've got to get back to being that team. That's the only way through, process and system."

The Magpies struggled to find clean ball movement and capitalise on their limited forward-half opportunities, with only one of their ten goals in the defeat coming from tall targets.

Mason Cox, Brody Mihocek and Ash Johnson were all kept goalless in the loss, with the latter subbed out in the third term with just three disposals to his name.

Both of Johnson's kicks were wayward in front of goal, with a set-shot sprayed out of bounds to further hamper the athletic forward's confidence.

Having struggled to take his chance to replace the injured Dan McStay in McRae's attacking tandem, Johnson's playing prospects are worriyng head into next week.

"We want to back players in. We want to be a coaching panel and back our players in. We said that openly to Ash that we'd back him in and give him a chance," McRae said.

"It looks like it's going to be hard to keep his spot in the team now. That doesn't mean he's out forever. It might be one or two weeks.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Ash Johnson of the Magpies kicks the ball during the 2024 AFL Round 01 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 15, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Just go back and be the Ash we love. Jump at the ball, take your marks, finish your goals, work for others. The things that are right in front of him.

"He's a good indication representation of what's right in front of us; Get back to work, bet the best version of yourself and go show everyone else."

McRae said he 'liked what he saw' from Johnson's sub replacement Finlay Macrae in his 35-minute cameo, with the fringe midfielder likely to start in the Magpies' clash against St Kilda next Thursday night.

Veteran onballer Tom Mitchell will also be in the frame after missing the Swans match due to a niggling ankle injury sustained in the pre-season.

Mitchell could've played against Sydney if needed, but was instead managed and kept as an emergency as a last resort for the Magpies.

"We've had two six days breaks, and we've got another one. That's three games in 12 days. We've got some guys we need to get some freshness in," McRae said.

"I'm not sure what that looks like yet or who it is.

"For Tom, we were reluctant to say 'out injured' because if he had to play tonight he would've played. So we kept him on standby just in case there's a late withdrawal.

"He's been managing an ankle complaint since the Richmond (pre-season) game, and it's been grumbling all week. So we gave him this game off to get it right, and then it won't be an issue for the rest of the year. That's my understanding.

"If he had to play tonight, then we would've [rested him] next week."

Collingwood face St Kilda on Thursday at the MCG for Spud's Game.