Alastair Clarkson didn’t want to appear rude or arrogant after Hawthorn’s triple-digit win over Essendon but there were clearly aspects of the performance that didn’t sit well with the four-time premiership coach.
The Hawks handed out a 108-point drubbing in the Friday night fizzer at Etihad Stadium but as bad as the Bombers were, Clarkson’s men weren’t firing on all cylinders either.
“I was disappointed in parts of our third quarter and the early part of the fourth … we’ve got high standards and we weren’t playing to the system we wanted to play with in those stages of the game,” Clarkson said.
“It seems arrogant and rude, in a sense, that you’re winning convincingly on the scoreboard and still demanding high standards of your players. But we fell away from the things we set ourselves at the start of the game.
“We need to fix that up where we can.
“Coaches are only ever happy when they’re winning grand finals … the rest of the time they’re shitty on something and I’m probably the worst of them in that regard.”
On the face of it, Clarkson would appear a ridiculously-hard task master, but Hawthorn’s poor ball movement in the third term would not have gone as unpunished by a better opponent.
As they have done for most of the season, the Hawks didn’t play as well as they can for four quarters but still got the job done.
The win boosted their top-four chances, improving their record to 9-3 and adding just over 10 percentage points.
“Percentage is important … of all the sides in the eight, our percentage was the worst,” Clarkson said.
“So to have a convincing victory like that (helps).
“We’ve got a lot of young players playing in our side at the moment (too), and to have a convincing victory like that is really good for their confidence levels.”
Sam Mitchell and Taylor Duryea didn’t play against the Bombers due to injury but Clarkson is confident both will return for next week’s blockbuster against North Melbourne.