Nathan Buckley was about as annoyed as a winning coach has a right to be after Collingwood moved into outright second on the ladder with a hard-fought nine-point victory over the Western Bulldogs.
Despite some wayward kicking for goal, the Bulldogs had their noses in front at halftime of Sunday's clash at Marvel Stadium, but they couldn't keep the Pies at bay in their 13.4 (82) to 10.13 (73) victory.
Collingwood improved to a 10-3 record with the win to sit just one game back from ladder leaders Geelong.
But Buckley was mightily displeased with most aspects of the display in front of 39,836 fans.
"I've got to tread a fine line between respecting the opposition and what they brought and speaking a bit about us because that was not a great performance by us," Buckley told reporters.
"Very little went the way that we wanted it to, but we had enough strong individual performances to be able to get the result.
"It's the worst we've played for a long time ... it's not representative of our year.
"We didn't get anywhere near playing the way that we want to play ... we leaked scores from turnover, we didn't do the basics well and we didn't defend well at all."
Brodie Grundy was brilliant with 25 possessions, 50 hit-outs and two goals, but even he got a clip from Buckley after the match, the coach revealing he'd demanded a lift from his star ruckman at halftime.
Adam Treloar (36 disposals), Jack Crisp (33) and Steele Sidebottom (33) were also important, while Ben Reid -- who came in for suspended forward Jaidyn Stephenson -- kicked three goals.
The Magpies pulled off the win without Jeremy Howe for most of the contest, the influential defender leaving the game early in the second quarter with a calf injury.
Caleb Daniel was outstanding for the Dogs with 35 touches and a goal, with Jack Macrae (42), Marcus Bontempelli (30) and Josh Dunkley (35) also key players.
"There's no doubt we had some opportunities, the inside 50s were totally in our favour (58-43), so it's difficult when you're not capitalising on all the hard work," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said after his side slipped to 15th with a 5-8 record.
"I'm pleased with many elements of the game but is was a game that was there for the taking.
"If we convert some of those set shots in the third quarter then it gives us that impetus that we were after."
The Pies were switched on early, Tom Phillips booting two goals as they jumped out to a 19-point lead, but the Dogs finished the first quarter strongly to lead by two points at the first break.
Collingwood trailed by five points as the second half began but Grundy had 10 disposals, 15 hit-outs and kicked a goal as the Pies made their move.
A five-goals-to-two quarter gave them an 11-point buffer heading into the final term.
Mason Cox put the Pies up by 22 points with his second goal midway through the last quarter, with Sam Lloyd and Tory Dickson kicking the last two majors of the match before time ran out on the Dogs.