Geelong coach Chris Scott wants his AFL side to deliver the ball to Tom Hawkins more often as the spearhead attempts to hit form before finals.
Hawkins has been below his best for most of the year, booting a total of 44 goals and pulling in an average of 5.5 marks per game.
“He’s not happy with his season and I support his position on that one,” Scott told Fox Footy.
“He just doesn’t think he’s getting to enough contests in good positions.
“When we kick it to him, sometimes it’s going on his head … maybe not enough movement to create some space before we go to him.
“In our opinion as a coaching group, we don’t think we’re kicking it to him enough either … we’d like Tom to be playing better but we’re really confident he’s got that footy in him.”
Like most of the Cats, Hawkins struggled in the first three quarters against Richmond last Sunday.
The hulking forward lifted in the final term, kicking the Cats’ final goal and pulling in a couple of big marks in an astonishing scoring spree that led to a four-point win.
“He was really important late in the game,” Scott said.
“He was very, very dominant last week. I know he played a side outside the eight in Essendon and they had some undersized defenders.
“But he was, barring his set-shot goalkicking, the best player on the ground.”
Hawkins is upbeat he has turned the corner recently, having showed glimpses of his best against Western Bulldogs, Essendon and Richmond.
“I’ve played a lot better in the last three weeks. I didn’t have my best game (against Richmond) but when the opportunities arose late I thought I was pretty good,” the 28-year-old said.
Hawkins was one of many Geelong forwards to have a case of the yips against Richmond, with the visitors kicking 10.22 from 66 inside-50s.
“It (the forward line) is the most unstable part of our team,” he said.
“Our midfield is pretty settled, we don’t have too many injuries in there. Our back line is very experienced.
“So that’s the obvious part that stands out for us but it wasn’t just execution in front of goal. We turned the ball over in some really bad spots, butchered some entries and it wasn’t the forwards.”
Geelong face Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday in a match they are fully expected to win.
Three of the club’s five losses this year have come against sides in the bottom half of the ladder.
“The numbers are stacking up. It (complacency) is part of it,” Scott said.
“We have raised our level against the better teams and we haven’t been as good against teams outside the eight, that’s something we need to address.”