DALE Thomas is confident Collingwood can continue a six year hoodoo over Sydney this Friday night and secure a grand final berth.
The Swans haven't been able to beat the Pies in 11 matches. Thomas said the Pies' past two matches against Hawthorn and West Coast gave him confidence his side's dominance over Sydney wasn't about to change.
Sydney will be the fresher team in Friday night's preliminary final after having a week off, not to mention having a home ground advantage at ANZ Stadium.
The Pies enter the match after two highly physical games. They had a bruising 38-point loss to Hawthorn in the qualifying final, and staved off a fast-starting West Coast to win their semi-final by 13 points.
"I think it's fine," Thomas said about taking on Sydney after two gruelling games.
"It's the way you want to go though. We'll get a chance to rest up and recuperate and recover.
"I think we'll take a lot of confidence out of the way we have been playing the last couple of weeks going into this weekend."
He said despite losing to the Hawks, the Pies took comfort that they had delivered a four quarter effort. He said the fact that they were able to back that up against West Coast, which dominated the scoreboard in the first half, gave the side more confidence.
"We knew if we cracked in again for four quarters we would have a chance to win it at some stage, and lucky enough we took those opportunities."
But while Thomas spoke much of seizing opposites, he also spoke a lot of luck, particularly his three goal burst against the Eagles at the start of he third quarter which proved pivotal, delivering the Pies the lead and much needed momentum.
"I was just out doing what I usually do and was lucky enough to get a few [goals]. That was pretty much it. You never know what's going to be the moment and I was fortunate enough to be there and was lucky enough, like the rest the boys.
"I think we took out chances well when they presented themselves and when you do that it goes a long way to winning the game."
The Pies took on the Eagles without their captain Nick Maxwell who will be missing again this week after he was suspended for two matches for rough conduct against Hawthorn's Paul Puopolo.
But missing Maxwell wasn't the only thing on the minds of Collingwood players. The team wore black armbands against the Eagles in honour of former teammate John McCarthy, who fell to his death from he roof of a Las Vegas hotel early last week.
The Pies were clearly grief stricken when a minute's silence was observed for McCarthy before the national anthem at the start of Saturday's game.
"It's been a very different week and one that you hope you'd never have to go through," Thomas said.
"But the boys, we all got together and really banded together.
"Everyone deals and grieves differently but it just more of a fact that telling our teammate and him knowing that you're by his side the whole way through. It was a pretty good performance [against West Coast] in that sense. Everyone contributed a good team effort and it was a tough week but one we've probably got through the best we can."