AAP AFL

Pies test retooled midfield against Suns

By AAP Newswire

Collingwood's vaunted AFL depth will undergo the latest in a series of tests when the Pies take on Gold Coast.

Nathan Buckley's side clash with the Suns at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night with a retooled onball brigade thanks to the long-term losses of Daniel Wells (foot) and Adam Treloar (hamstrings) in successive games.

Collingwood sit fourth on the ladder (9-4) going into the encounter despite a long list of injuries that threatened to derail their season.

Jamie Elliott (ankle, hamstring) Darcy Moore (hamstring), Ben Reid (calf), Travis Varcoe (hamstring), Levi Greenwood (knee), Josh Smith (hamstring), Tim Broomhead (leg) and James Aish (knee) are among the first-choice regulars to miss significant time.

"We spend less time concerning ourselves with what we don't have and more time focusing on what we do have and what we can do with it," Buckley told reporters at Melbourne airport on Friday.

"And that attitude has definitely helped for us so we'll continue that.

"We've enjoyed quite a bit of midfield depth and we've toyed with different ways of utilising the midfielders that we have at our disposal.

"That's been an evolution for us ... working out what our best mix is and we'll have to reschedule that and go again without (Treloar) to see what that looks like."

Treloar's season is in doubt after suffering twin hamstring injuries late in the win against the Blues, one of which will require surgery.

Greenwood (concussion) joins him in departing last week's side, while Ben Crocker and Brayden Sier, who will debut, come in.

Gold Coast, currently 15th on the ladder, regain Rory Thompson and Steven May but lose key talls Tom Lynch (knee) and Sam Day (shoulder).

The Pies are shooting for their sixth win in a row but Buckley has demanded more polish than was on display against the Blues.

"Our ball use was woeful ... we kicked the ball back to the opposition more than we have in any game, statistically, this year," he said.

"And we just didn't defend in the manner that we would have liked to consistently enough.

"Our connection and ability to gel together as a unit wasn't as prevalent as it probably has been."