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Port Adelaide backs coach after another loss

Football

Port Adelaide’s faith in coach Ken Hinkley isn’t wavering despite the club’s worst start to an AFL season, chief executive Matthew Richardson says.

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Richardson says the club’s powerbrokers retain confidence in Hinkley, whose side slipped to 0-5 with another loss on Sunday.

Asked if he could guarantee Hinkley’s job for the year, Richardson replied: “I just don’t think there is any point in dealing with hypotheticals.

“Our focus has got to be we are playing West Coast this weekend … we have just got to stay really focused on the things we can control.

“We’re five games in and we haven’t had the start that we want.

“But we have got great people and we will back them in to turn it around and that has to start this weekend.”

Hinkley, in his 10th season at Port, is under the blowtorch – which doesn’t surprise Richardson.

“We understand it,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we haven’t started the season as we would have expected.

“We’re really well led. We have got great faith in our people and we’re going to back them in to turn it around.

“From what I see, we have got a group who are really investing in being really connected, they’re really focused, they are supporting each other.”

Port Adelaide host West Coast on Saturday and skipper Tom Jonas said the Anzac Day round and its theme of selflessness and sacrifice would “narrow the focus” of players.

“There is a lot of outside noise but we have still got great belief in our group and connection,” Jonas said.

“The results are an outcome of sometimes when we have probably departed a little bit from what our values are as a team.”

Jonas noted a spate of injuries to key players and some sloppy skills had also let the Power down this season.

“I am really confident in this group still – our ability, our connection, our belief in one another … we are all sticking together,” he said.

But he labelled Sunday’s first half against Carlton, when Port slipped 50 points down, as “absolutely unacceptable”.

“It’s about being committed to working harder than the opposition, doing things for your teammates rather than doing things for yourself,” he said.

“We have spent a lot of energy in that space in the last couple of years.

“And that work and that foundation we have built doesn’t just disappear overnight so we will go back to the well on that.”

-AAP

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