Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley knows the jury is still out on his AFL side.
Hinkley knows Friday night’s 61-point belting of Essendon doesn’t prove Port’s worth.
But the win is significant for Hinkley, coming after the coach copped criticism for Port’s meek loss to Adelaide last week.
“It was challenging at times,” Hinkley said of his week under the blowtorch.
“That is my job. When you lose …you’re going to cop a bit.
“I accept that.
“And hopefully I responded for the team and the players this week.”
Hinkley described the questioning of Port and himself as motivating.
“It makes me more determined,” he said.
“Like anyone that is involved at this level, I don’t like failing. And that was the way I was feeling a little bit early in the week.”
Hinkley felt Port, now with two wins and a loss, had to recover some respect in the eyes of the AFL industry.
“We had rightly copped a fair bit and we had to recover some of that and recover some belief in the way we play,” he said.
“It (the Essendon win) was a good starting point but it’s certainly not perfect.”
Port, who killed the game against Essendon early by kicking nine of the first 10 goals, expect Hamish Hartlett (hamstring) and Chad Wingard (hamstring) to press for selection for next Sunday’s away fixture against Greater Western Sydney.
Forward Jay Schulz (back) is less likely to overcome his injury but Hinkley cleared utility Paul Stewart, who jarred his right knee against the Bombers, of any serious damage.