Pendlebury defends Buckley over benching

McGuire used early-2000s West Coast Eagles player discipline problems to justify Collingwood's De Goey stance

Pendlebury defends Buckley over benching

Pendlebury said the Magpies' review of their loss to St Kilda on Sunday had highlighted glaring issues with their ball use, meaning the silky-skilled Wells would be welcomed.

The 21-year-old has kicked just one goal in four matches this season.

Pendlebury said he would direct his young teammate to block out the external criticism.

"He's flying for balls, he's competing".

Pendlebury said his benching was circumstantial, rather than tactical.

"In general, I think the hysteria around his performance is unnecessary", Pendlebury said.

"We're not kicking many goals for the side, and then to say that he needs to be kicking more ... you don't just get a free shot in football. He's working hard and it'll come for him".

The 13th-placed Magpies next meet Essendon in an Anzac Day blockbuster at the MCG on April 25.

Pendlebury's reasoning perhaps not fully in line with his coach's.

Star recruit Daniel Wells could also add much-needed polish to the midfield after overcoming a calf injury.

"It would be great to have Wellsy make his debut", Pendlebury said.

"If he's fit and he recovers well from his (VFL) game on the weekend, I assume that he would play".

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has defended his coach after being benched for an extended period during the Pies loss to St Kilda over the weekend.

"It was actually, I just happened to start the third quarter on the bench and for one reason or another - the rotations - we just couldn't get someone off in the first seven or eight minutes".

'"It's blown up to something a lot more than it needed to be - if I was injured, I wouldn't have come back on".

"He was clearly the best player in the comp past year at kicking the ball inside 50 and I think we're clearly the worst side at that".

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