Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has challenged his AFL players to face up to the pressure of their predicament.
Hinkley’s Power are in 12th spot entering Sunday’s home game against St Kilda, and another loss will likely cruel their finals ambitions,
“I want us to deal with pressure, I want us to handle that,” Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.
“We are going to face up to the pressure and we’re going to try and handle it and learn to get better at it.”
The Power effectively face six consecutive elimination games just to reach the finals – a proposition Hinkley isn’t interested in.
“All I will worry about is this Sunday and I’m going to make sure we turn up and give ourselves the best chance to win,” he said.
“I said it three years ago – you get what you deserve.”
Hinkley will name rebounding backman Jasper Pittard, to return from a one-match absence because of an ankle injury, for the season-shaping fixture against the Saints.
“We’ll name him in the side but we won’t be 100 per cent certain until Saturday that he’s going to play,” Hinkley said..
“It’s probably 80-20 that I expect Jasper to play.”
Pittard’s return will bolster a backline which own an unwanted statistic.
“We have been in four out of the five games (this season) where there has been 100 points for both sides,” Hinkley said.
“That is not the way we want to play.
“Certainly we’d like to restrict the opposition from scoring.
“That 70-80 point mark is a great mark to keep, and it gives you a better chance to win, I know that.”