Dale Thomas knows there's no escaping criticism of his AFL qualifying final shocker, but the Collingwood midfielder will not accept talk that he is out of form.
Collingwood must gain more from players such as Thomas if they are to match the powerful West Coast midfield in Saturday night's semi-final at the MCG.
While he admits his performance against Hawthorn was unacceptable, Thomas disagrees with the media's assessment of his form and he is promising a much better performance against the Eagles.
Thomas only had 17 disposals against the Hawks. including five kicks.
"I have been reading in the papers that I am out of form - I don't know if one game puts you out of form, I've been going alright before that," Thomas told Nova 100.
"I will be the first to put my hand up to say I played badly on the weekend ... I had a shocker.
"Hopefully this weekend, I don't really give a stuff what the other people think, hopefully I can do something for my teammates because I did very little the other night."
There has also been talk that Thomas is carrying an ankle injury, but he said he trained away from the rest of the team earlier this week because he had a cold.
Coach Nathan Buckley publicly called on Thomas to lift after the Magpies star had a minimal impact in last Friday night's loss to Hawthorn.
"When you get to finals time and you're playing against the best opposition, you need all of your good players playing at the best of their ability," Buckley said.
"And I think Dale has carried a little bit of an ankle through the middle part of the year."He hasn't had a lot of continuity, but he would be disappointed with his performance."
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