Hawthorn play their best football when they’re the unsociable Hawks but Alastair Clarkson wants them to be just a little bit nicer.
This week, star defender Josh Gibson copped his second fine of the season for an off-the-ball strike to the stomach of Carlton’s Blaine Boekhorst, joining several teammates who have been fined for similarly minor incidents this year.
But Gibson is now in danger of copping a one-game suspension rather than a fine for another minor indiscretion – a loss the Hawks can do without as they gear up for a finals campaign.
“We’ve spoken to all of our players. It’s not something that we go into the game intending to do,” Clarkson said on Thursday.
“We want to play tough, hard footy, but little untoward and undisciplined acts off the ball aren’t something that we want to be about.
“(But) sometimes the emotion of the game gets the better of our players.”
Third-placed Hawthorn face a testing fortnight that could prove pivotal to their chances of nailing down a top-two finish when they take on Richmond on Friday night then travel to Perth for a clash against West Coast.
But Clarkson said the Hawks won’t allow their focus to stray to the dogfight for top-four positions.
“We’ve got two really strong opponents who are both vying for top-four positions themselves over the course of the next two weeks and we’ve just got to endeavour to stick to the things that we know allow us the chance to win games of footy,” he said.
“If we do that we’ll give ourselves the chance to finish as high up on the ladder as we can.”