Nathan Buckley says his "inconsistent" Collingwood side will have to put the hard yards in to get their wobbling AFL season back on track .
The Magpies copped a 56-point hiding from Melbourne on Saturday night and have won just three of their past six games, leaving them seventh among a cluster of teams grappling for finals spots.
Buckley lamented a "disconnected" performance and said it had been a consistent theme for the Magpies in recent weeks.
"Nothing's coming easy - the last five or six weeks we've been inconsistent in the way that we've gone about it," Buckley said.
"We're not finding the efficiency and balance in the way that we play - it opens us up defensively and we can put a lot of work in and not get much reward offensively.
"So we've got a bit of work to do - we haven't got our heads in the sand.
"... We've got some work to do on ourselves to be able to put our best foot forward and give ourselves a chance to perform and win games."
Collingwood also added to their significant injury list with veteran Ben Reid suffering an "upsetting" hamstring injury.
Meawhile Buckley was confident Brody Mihocek had avoided serious injury, with the forward going to hospital for neck scans after being knocked out.
Saturday night's game at the Gabba was Collingwood's fourth in 14 days across three venues including Perth's Optus Stadium and the Adelaide Oval.
The Magpies now have a nine-day turnaround to their clash with North Melbourne at the Gabba.
"We'll lick our wounds and we'll see where we get to but we were getting to this game and knew that this was a really important game for us," Buckley said.
"So we've dropped it - it puts us in amongst it a little bit and we've got some work to do.
"We knew we had nine days on the other side - so this block is done, we'll reassess and have a look at where we get to now.
"But this season is challenging for all - there's a lot of ups and downs in it, there's still a lot of it to be run and won.
"And we know that we're capable of a lot better than what we put forward tonight and we're going to keep working towards being better."
Australian Associated Press