Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley hailed his side's maturity after they overcame a major scare against Fremantle on Saturday to secure a top-four finals' berth.
The Dockers led by eight points early in the final term when Hayden Ballantyne ran 60m to score his fourth goal.
But Collingwood lifted when it mattered most, with Brody Mihocek booting two goals within the space of a minute to help power the Magpies to a 11.10 (76) to 9.13 (67) win at Optus Stadium.
The Magpies could have slid to as low as sixth if they had lost but by winning they will qualify either second or third: Collingwood will nab second spot behind Richmond and host Hawthorn in the first week of finals if West Coast lose to Brisbane on Sunday. But if the Eagles win, then Collingwood will have to travel back to Perth to face West Coast in a qualifying final.
Buckley was proud of the way his players didn't panic against Fremantle.
"We didn't play our best footy and we would have liked to have performed better," he said.
"But I think it was mature in that at some point everyone might have had the thought come in their head, 'Jeez, what if we don't get up here?'
"To be able to handle that and then to go down halfway through the last quarter and to find the type of football we needed to grind the win out was real maturity."
The Magpies also received good news before the match when they were told Tyson Goldsack made a successful return in the VFL.
Goldsack played about 65 per cent game time in his first match since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in March.
However, Collingwood appear set to be without Sam Murray for the rest of the season, with the young defender facing a four-year ban from ASADA after testing positive to a prohibited substance.
Buckley said the players would support their teammate through this dark period.
"One thing we have done really well is care for each other and look for each other," he said.
"We're human and people make blues ... we're trying to look after each other as well as we have."
Although Fremantle couldn't come away with victory in Michael Johnson's AFL farewell, they at least regained some much-needed respect.
The Dockers were bombarded by criticism in the wake of last week's 133-point loss to Geelong, but they showed far more fight against the Magpies.
"There's a bit of bubble around the place," Dockers coach Ross Lyon said.
"You can get frozen and go into your shell, or you can be resilient and work really hard. We're not there yet, but (we) dig in and work."
Magpies ruckman Brodie Grundy starred with 24 disposals, 34 hitouts and five clearances, while Scott Pendlebury tallied 10 clearances from his 30 disposals.