We're still improving say unbeaten Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We're still improving say unbeaten Hawks

By Robert Grant 12/04/2008 04:21:18 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are holding down second place on the AFL ladder despite their main focus not being on winning games.

According to coach Alastair Clarkson, the Hawks' primary aim was to continue developing a balanced side, after being hit by suspension and injuries.

And on Sunday against Adelaide at Aurora Stadium, he will attempt to fit one more piece of the jigsaw in place as veteran Shane Crawford returns.

The Hawks remain unbeaten after three rounds, but have had to win the points with a decimated midfield.

"So far this year we haven't been able to put our best team on the park as yet through injury and suspension, so it's trying to settle our side," Clarkson said.

"We're making two to three changes each week so what we're looking forward to most is trying to settle our side down over the next six or eight weeks and get some consistency from one week to the next.

"We're playing guys a little bit out of their normal role so to get some stability back will be importance for us."

Clarkson is convinced that there is far more potential in the line-up despite the Hawks' flying start to the year.

"We'd expect that we would continue developing - that's been our focus right across the summer," he said.

"A lot of people in the game want us to actually predict where we're going to finish but our real focus is on the development of our list.

"We're more geared towards wanting to win games than lose them - but it's still not the be all and end all for us, it's more about the development and giving our young players opportunities.

"We're delighted with winning the first three games of the season but it will be a really big challenge to try to beat Adelaide down in Launceston.

"But we're maturing as a group and from this time last year, when we were 2-1 (win-loss record), we are 22 games more experienced than what we were."

Hawthorn is preparing for a Crows side with a heavy emphasis on physicality and speed.

"Adelaide are a very, very competitive side and we've had really good contests with them over the last couple of games that we've played," Clarkson said.

"We're pretty certain it's going to be that way again (on Sunday) - they play a very physical brand of footy around stoppages then they run and carry the ball as good as any side in the competition."

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