Craig McRae believes he coached “poorly” in Collingwood’s most recent AFL game at the SCG.
The Magpies will return to the same venue on Saturday for a preliminary final showdown with the Sydney Swans as they seek to secure an unlikely appearance in the decider.
Collingwood were convincingly beaten when they ventured to the SCG a month ago – just one of two losses the Magpies have suffered since round 10.
The Magpies have marked out their training ground at the AIA Centre this week to better prepare themselves for the unique challenges of playing on the smaller-sized SCG.
“I thought I coached really poorly,” the Collingwood coach told Fox Footy about the Magpies’ last trip to Sydney.
“I believe in setting the players up for certain things, to hopefully make them successful in what we’re doing, and I felt that I failed in that.
“I told the players (on Monday) we’ll be better prepared for things like the shape of the ground so we can train on it and be prepared for that.
“Those little details are lessons learned along the way.”
Asked exactly how he had coached poorly, McRae admitted he tried to ignore the significance of playing at the SCG.
“The dimensions of the ground were different to what we’d been playing at and I didn’t reference it, I think that’s poor on my behalf.
“It’s nothing major, I’m just taking accountability for something I think I can do better.”
McRae’s admission comes after Magpies star Jack Crisp conceded players were “confused” in the last match against Sydney.
Sydney and Collingwood last met in a final in 2012, when the Swans shrugged off the Magpies at the Olympic Stadium to win through to the decider.
Saturday’s match will be the first preliminary final at the SCG since Tony Lockett’s famous after-the-siren point sent the Swans into a grand final.