Collingwood coach Craig McRae is adamant that his side will turn their fortunes around following heavy defeats to NSW duo GWS and Sydney in the opening two rounds of the season.

Playing uncharacteristic football - which included conceding an average of 108 points (up 30 over McRae's coaching career) - the Pies will be looking to improve on their early-year deficiencies or face an 0-3 start to 2024.

The man, known as 'Fly', still exudes confidence in his group, saying a few tweaks are all that's needed to record their first win on Thursday against St Kilda.

"The reality is we turned the ball over way too much in our defensive 50, I think everyone in the world can see that," McRae said to reporters on Tuesday.

"We're getting to work on some of those things so we can alleviate simple give-away goals or simple errors in our systems.

"I think there will be some (personnel) change but it'll be based on what the best balance is, in terms of what's coming up."

It's no shock that a host of Collingwood players appear to be under the axe given their poor performances over the last fortnight.

Forward Ash Johnson has struggled to have a significant impact, gathering a combined five disposals and one behind in the clashes with the Giants and Swans.

Defender Charlie Dean could also be left out of Thursday's game following his difficult start to the AFL level which saw Jesse Hogan and Logan McDonald slot four majors each.

Johnson and Dean were seen donning the "second-string" guernseys during match simulation on Tuesday.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 16: Billy Frampton of the Magpies marks the ball during a Collingwood Magpies AFL training session at AIA Centre on December 16, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

With Dan McStay (ACL) still weeks away, McRae is likely to bring in utility Billy Frampton to bolster the backline whilst youngster Reef McInnes should pop up at the selection committee.

"Dan's going really well," McRae said.

"No ceilings on his return date... full speed running, getting into three times a week running. Really strong, fit.

"I said at the start of the year that it's going to look differently week-to-week and that's not going to change.

"We're going to vary from opposition to opposition and we're generating enough inside 50s but we didn't execute parts of our game.

Veteran midfielder Tom Mitchell will also be available for senior selection after being "managed" for Round 1.

Mitchell was given time to recover from a lingering ankle issue that has troubled him over the summer months, with a week off revitalising the Brownlow Medallist.

Despite a slow start to the year, McRae admitted that the early-season losses can provide a clearer path that the club needs to go on.

"It's definitely a gift (the loss to Sydney and GWS early in the year)," McRae said.

"We get to see where we're at against good opposition and then see parts of our game that we need to improve.

"I'm sure some stage we will look back on this period and go 'That was important that we went through that as a group'".