When Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley looks at St Kilda, he sees some of himself.
Hinkley says the Saints are starting their climb on the same plank he used at Port a couple of seasons back: competitive pressure.
“Every club starts in the same place,” Hinkley says.
“You want to be competitive and you want to be a able to put pressure on and you want to be able to hit the scoreboard as often as you can,” Hinkley said.
The Saints are in their first season under new coach Alan Richardson, who formerly worked as Hinkley’s right-hand man at Port in 2014.
Hinkley notes some similarities in style between Port and the Saints – and he’s wary of Richardson’s tactical shrewdness in Sunday’s high-stakes encounter at Adelaide Oval.
“Knowing Richo really well, their pressure has been quite elite,” Hinkley said.
“They’re a young side and I think everyone is saying already that they have won six games, they’re a pass mark for the season – I know Richo wouldn’t be thinking that way, he’d be thinking there are more wins to come.”
Port enter the game with their finals hopes hanging by a thread: lose another match, and that will likely be it.
But Hinkley said there was no point wasting energy on what might be.
“Winning every game you’re playing is crucial to getting something out of the year,” he said.
“We’re going after every win we can possibly get regardless of what the longer term picture looks like for people, whether you can or can’t turn up later in the year.
“I’m going after every game I possibly can to win and the club will do the same.”