Cloke backed to end slump
Travis Cloke holds on to the ball during Magpies training. Pic: Getty Images

It is only a matter of time before key forward Travis Cloke returns to his All-Australian form and kicks a bag of goals, according to Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.

Cloke has kicked just nine goals from eight matches this year and been held goalless five times.

He booted 1.1 and had only three marks against Adelaide last Thursday night to continue his frustrating year.

But Buckley said Cloke had been working hard at training to rectify his form and it wouldn't be long before he started dominating again.

"He's not in his best form and when you set a high standard for yourself, generally the questions are going to come when you don't maintain it," Buckley said ahead of Saturday's game against West Coast at the MCG.

"He's a fantastic player. It's a matter of time. He'll tear a game apart and then he'll go from there."

Buckley said the Magpies had to avoid being too Cloke- conscious when kicking the ball inside 50 because of the number of defenders around him.

"He always has the opposition's plus-one around him. We're still discovering and looking for ways to optimise that fact," Buckley said.

"It might not be in Travis' form that things improve. It might be in our ability to position him and use the ball more effectively around that so we take advantage of Jamie Elliott, Jesse White, Jarrod Witts, Brodie Grundy, Tyson Goldsack, Jarryd Blair or any of our mids that might spend time in our front six."

Despite Cloke's struggles, Collingwood have managed to win five games, their four-match winning streak snapped by the Crows.

Buckley said Adelaide "were harder for longer" last week and the club had been disappointed with the way the team performed.

"To be honest, we're really focused on what we roll out this week," he said.

"But we need to make sure that we come to the level that we expect. We genuinely feel that'll be enough for us."

The Magpies are considering recalling premiership defender Nathan Brown to add more height to the back line.

WA's Alex Fasolo is also a chance to return after being an emergency against Adelaide.

The West Australian

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