Josh Daicos under injury cloud, Pies coach backs Moore

Anna Harrington |

Gun Collingwood wingman Josh Daicos is in a race against time to face Essendon, while coach Craig McRae is confident the Magpies can get captain Darcy Moore back to his best.

Daicos suffered a corked calf in the Pies’ 11-point loss to Gold Coast and appears unlikely to face the Bombers at the MCG on Friday night after hardly training on Wednesday morning.

“Unknown at the moment. He’s a race against the clock,” McRae said.

“So Josh, he still looks a little proppy for my eyes but I’m getting told that we’ll give him every opportunity. So we’ll give him every chance to get to the line.

“Time will tell. It’s just a bit more movement, potentially a bit more treatment (that would allow Daicos to play).”

Defensive enforcer Brayden Maynard (corked quad) looks set to play after he “did more than enough” at training on Wednesday.

Star tall defender Moore has struggled this season and attracted criticism after he had just one intercept mark against the Suns.

He has arguably been affected by the absence of stopper Nathan Murphy, whose career was prematurely ended by concussion ahead of the season.

“Darcy and I catch up regularly and funnily enough, last week we had a really good deep and meaningful (chat) on the couch about lots of things,” McRae said.

“We want Darcy at his best. He’s clearly not playing at a level where he has previously – last year he was an All-Australian and he’s not in All-Australian form.

“But we back him in, support him and look for little ways we can improve him.

“We’re not gonna stand still because we need him to be at his best.”

Darcy Moore.
Darcy Moore (R) looks bemused during a recent clash with the Kangaroos. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

McRae indicated Moore wasn’t fazed by the criticism but had been focusing on improving his positioning, among other areas.

“There’s a list of things we can work on but ultimately it’s about setting him up,” he said.

“He’s the captain of our footy club and he’s such an important part of our backline.”

McRae brushed off the suggestion Collingwood have lost their “aura” after suffering a close loss to Gold Coast.

“I didn’t realise we had an aura but I’m sure if the game’s close, I wouldn’t have thought anyone would want to be playing against us,” he said.

He expected star midfielder Nick Daicos to be tagged by the Bombers.

McRae played down concerns over Darcy Cameron after the ruckman copped a knee to the ribs at training.

The Magpies are without Beau McCreery (calf) and John Noble (concussion).

Lachie Schultz should return from illness while Joe Richards, the substitute against the Suns, is set to be elevated to the 22.