Port won’t change AFL style: captain Boak

Port Adelaide won’t change its game plan despite being seemingly worked out by AFL rivals, defiant captain Travis Boak says.

Boak says mental fragility, rather than tactics, is behind the slide of the Power, who were tipped as premiership contenders but enter their bye weekend in 12th spot with just five wins.

“We are not changing our game plan at all,” Boak told reporters on Tuesday.

“We think it’s a great style of footy that we play – we just haven’t executed it well enough as a collective.”

Boak said making the finals wasn’t on the radar for Port players.

“We’re not even thinking finals right now,” he said.

“We have got some work to do and we’re going to fight our way out of it.

“This group never gives up … right now the results aren’t going our way and it might not be enjoyable for our fans to see us play that way. But certainly we’re going to keep fighting.”

Boak supported his coach Ken Hinkley’s belief that Port players had become “spooked” – scared of making mistakes.

“It looks like we’re just worried about making mistakes,” he said.

“We certainly know that our players are highly skilled and train extremely hard to do the right thing. It’s just mentally sometimes you get a bit worried that you don’t want to make a mistake.”

Port players were having the week off before returning to their Alberton headquarters on Saturday for some soul-searching.

“First of all we have to get away from footy and have that mental break and just try and relax, refresh the body, refresh the mind,” Boak said.

“And we will come back on Saturday and talk about … what we have done right and what we have done wrong, and from there we will learn about what we haven’t been able to accomplish on game day as a group.

“There have been certain changes every week. Some weeks we are playing really brave footy and not defending as well; some weeks we’re defending really well and not playing brave.”

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