Wells closes on Collingwood debut in AFL
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is looking forward to Daniel Wells improving their forward-half ball use.
Daniel Wells is on the verge of making his Collingwood debut, training without issue ahead of their AFL Anzac Day blockbuster against Essendon.
His inclusion after a pre-season dogged by calf muscle problems will be timely, given Collingwood's misfiring attack.
Coach Nathan Buckley expects Wells to play and also backed Darcy Moore on Thursday, saying the key forward deserves the club's support.
But Buckley said there was no way they would cut short Jordan De Goey's club suspension and rush him back for Anzac Day.
While the Magpies only have one win from four games, Buckley remains upbeat.
He said their defenders have been exceptional and they are among the AFL's top four teams for contested ball.
They are also managing enough inside 50s, but they are the most inaccurate team this season and only managed seven goals at Etihad Stadium last week in the loss to St Kilda.
Wells returned last weekend in the VFL and Buckley said his exceptional ball use would help them in attack.
"He has to get through a couple of training sessions, but we anticipate he'll be fit to play," Buckley said.
"He's great around stoppages and he's great in that forward-half use.
"It just happens to be the area we're falling down, in particular, at the moment.
"Daniel in the end isn't going to solve all of those ills ... but he won't hurt us either - we don't expect him to be the saviour in that regard."
Moore has struggled to kick goals this season, but Buckley has great faith in the young key forward.
"He's a young man whose effort, contest and work rate are first-class," the coach said.
"While he's bringing those, we'll continue to give him the time and space to develop."
De Goey also is showing strong VFL form as he serves his penance for lying about how he suffered a hand injury.
Buckley said there was no way they would shorten his ban, saying De Goey has to earn the club's trust.
"Any of that talk just doesn't understand the integrity of the footy club and the decision made by the leadership," Buckley said.
Despite three narrow losses, Buckley is confident Collingwood are not far off clicking.
"We've always seen ourselves as a contest and defence-first side and we wouldn't have anticipated we'd have this much trouble at the beginning of the year with our offence," he said.
"If we can get that right without losing the integrity of the other two, we feel like we'll be in really good shape."
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