McKay missed Carlton’s semi final win over Melbourne last week, but is expected to return to the side for its clash against Brisbane on Saturday evening after recovering from a concussion.
The 2021 Coleman Medal winner has struggled mightily in front of goal this season, kicking just 27 goals and 27 behinds in 20 appearances, and Cornes urged Carlton coach Michael Voss to leave him out.
“I can’t trust him in a final,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“Michael Voss has said he would play if he’s fit, but I wouldn’t play him.
“I think they’re a better team without him just to be brutally honest. I think his issues can infiltrate the psyche of the group.
“If he’s missing goals in the first quarter from 10m out directly in front I think it’s an issue for them, and I think they’re playing pretty well without him. I think he adds pressure.”
An injury during the home and away season meant McKay was out of Carlton’s side between rounds 19 and 22, a period in which teammate Charlie Curnow booted 19 goals.
While Curnow was a dominant force during the home and away season, taking out his second straight Coleman Medal, he has kicked just two goals in two finals so far.
Cornes put pressure on the 26-year-old ahead of the clash against Brisbane and star defender Harris Andrews.
“Since round 24, when he won the Coleman Medal, he’s hardly touched the footy. Not only that, his opponent has been best on ground,” he said.
“(GWS defender Jack) Buckley beat him after that moment for the rest of the three quarters, (Tom) McCartin was Sydney’s best, and (Melbourne’s Steven) May was the best on ground, so not only is he not impacting, his opponents are having too much of a say.
“So the spotlight is on him because reputations are built in finals and he’s yet to enhance his in big games.”