‘I’m equipped’: Pies coach on his future

Interim Collingwood coach Robert Harvey has hit back at Ross Lyon’s claims of “red flags” at the Magpies but doesn’t know if he’ll be there in 2022.

Harvey has been in charge since Nathan Buckley stepped down in June and will talk to football boss Graham Wright next week, after Collingwood’s final game against Essendon on Sunday, to make a decision on his coaching future.

Veteran defender Jeremy Howe will be captain against the Bombers in the absence of injured Scott Pendlebury.

Wright and Collingwood football director Paul Licuria are charged with finding a full-time replacement having already conducted preliminary interviews with several candidates, including Michael Voss, Craig McRae and Adam Kingsley.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson could be available, while Sydney assistant Don Pyke is considered a frontrunner. Former Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon ruled himself out of the running this week and declared continued fighting at board level raised “red flags”.

Don Pyke is a frontrunner to be Collingwood’s next coach. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Harvey, who said he felt he was “equipped” to be senior coach, refuted Lyon’s assessment and said he had agreed not to consider his future until after Sunday’s final round clash with Essendon.

“This interim coaching job has been a long journey, it’s been nine weeks. I have put my heart and soul into that nine weeks to try and get all I can out of it,” Harvey said on Friday.

“My focus has always been on doing it the right way for me and get to the end having achieved what I want to achieve with the group I have got.

“I’ll sit down next week when all the dust settles and reassess, talk to the right people and make some decisions on my future from there.

“I’ve enjoyed the role, I think I’m equipped to do the role. In the end what comes, comes. I want to keep coaching, where that is and what that looks like I’m not sure.”

Harvey, who has won two of eight games since taking over from Buckley, couldn’t say if that would involve interviewing for the senior coaching role full time.

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“This has been clear to me the whole way through with Wrighty, we discussed right upfront we would get through this nine weeks the best we can and talk at the end of it,” he said.

“Next week I will sit down with Wrighty and ask how that looks. I’ll be making my decisions off those discussions.”

Earlier this week Lyon revealed he had declined an offer to talk to the Magpies because of the “instability” he saw at the club.

“Just from the outside … I think if you see misalignment, it’s a red flag,” he said.

Harvey said that wasn’t the case despite Collingwood finishing a long way off finals pace.

“All I’ll say is the club is absolutely going in the right direction, there’s a great future which has been mapped out,” he said.

“There’s change coming, we know that. There’s some real excitement around the place. Once that change is made, the club is in good hands.

“I’ve been here for a number of years now. The older players are as hungry as ever to achieve success. The pillars here, the staff, are hungry. I think the future is really bright.”

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