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Hinkley holds hope for a miracle

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Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley believes in AFL miracles. 

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He has no other choice ahead of tomorrow night’s fixture against Essendon.

To pinch a finals spot, ninth-placed Port must beat the Bombers at Adelaide Oval, then hope cellar dwellars Gold Coast upset eighth-placed Geelong in Geelong the following day.

“We have got some hope,” Hinkley told reporters today.

“And we have to maintain our focus in that space … and that is what we will do.

“We can’t control anything but what we have, and that is tomorrow night.

“And we have just got to perform at a level that gives us a chance to win the game.”

Hinkley has made three changes from his side which capitulated to Collingwood last weekend – the Power’s fifth loss in six games.

Recruit Tom Rockliff’s season is over, regardless if Port sneak into the finals, because of a shoulder injury.

The ex-Brisbane captain will have surgery next week on the same shoulder he had reconstructed at the end of last season.

Youngsters Riley Bonner and Aidyn Johnson have been dropped with Sam Powell-Pepper and Jake Neale recalled and ruckman Billy Frampton picked for his AFL debut.

Hinkley’s coaching style has been in the spotlight this week following their slide from 11 wins and four losses to 12-9.

Port president David Koch on Monday guaranteed the tenure of Hinkley, who is contracted until the end of the 2021 season, and the coach said his critics were entitled to their opinions.

“There are a lot of opinions and we understand that. And this is the game that I’m in and I like the game that I’m in so I welcome the bad and the good,” he said.

“It’s part of the game … but opinions are that, they are opinions.

“We as a football club work damn hard, week-in, week-out, to get the best results and that never changes whether I’m winning or whether I’m losing, whether someone says I’m a good or I’m a bad coach.

“Right now, we’re disappointed with where we sit because we put ourselves in a really strong position. We have dropped off, we can’t hide from that.”

-AAP

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