AFL: Collingwood ready for Hawthorn’s Jack Ginnivan threat

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Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe says the mood at the Magpies “hasn’t fluctuated” over the start of the season despite a “challenging week” in the lead up to their breakthrough win.

Howe claimed his teammates had remained upbeat over the 0-3 start to the season but were now focused on “banking wins” ahead of a Gather Round clash against Hawthorn on Sunday.

It comes before a run of three challenging games at the MCG following the Pies’ round 5 bye against Port Adelaide, Essendon and Carlton.

“The mood itself without getting the result hasn’t fluctuated too much – winning definitely helps, but for us the way that we train and prepare for games doesn’t really change,” Howe said.

“Reward for effort is always nice … especially up (at the Gabba against Brisbane), it was a challenging week leading in, no doubt, but it was a hell of a game.

“I thought some boys stood up, and it’s really important to bank the wins now.”

Howe joked it would be difficult to keep hard nut Brayden Maynard away from former teammate Jack Ginnivan when the Magpies took on Hawthorn’s new-look forward line on Sunday.

“It’ll be great (playing against Ginnivan), I think people might have a bit more of a field day outside the club than they would inside,” Howe said.

“He’s obviously started the year relatively well, and their good footy is well and truly good enough.

“We’ll have our hands full, they’ve got a pretty strong forward line down there and he’s just one of them, so we’re more than happy to take them on.

“You might have to fight Bruzzy (Brayden Maynard) to be on him … Ginni is just one cog down in the forward line, but we’ll make sure we’ll try take care of it.”

Howe said Collingwood felt well prepared for its South Australian trip and would keep a “fairly simple” approach despite the festivities of the weekend.

“I think as a collective we travel pretty well, I feel like that’s something we’ve done for a long time here,” he said.

“It doesn’t change a hell of a lot … it’s obviously a lot going on for (South Australia) with all the teams there at once and there’s plenty going on, but I think we simplify it and keep our preparations fairly simple.

“You can’t help but get lost in the atmosphere … it’s great, there’s been an amazing amount of positive feedback from what happened last year.”

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