Power's Williams stands by his players - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Power's Williams stands by his players

By Daniel Brettig 16/06/2008 06:05:56 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams stood defiantly behind his players in the face of apparent AFL-wide consensus the Power took their eyes off the ball against Geelong.

Cats coach Mark Thompson stated that Port's tactics roused the Cats to play some of their best football of 2008 and lauded his men for concentrating on the football against opponents who plainly weren't.

When questioned about Thompson's comments, Williams was unmoved on Monday: "I don't care what's happening to them, (the way Port played) was better for our club."

Instead Williams stressed that Port's supporters would have been proud of the way his team used an overtly physical approach in trying to unsettle the Cats, despite the fact it backfired spectacularly on the scoreboard.

"I was really impressed by the way they went down there and attacked Geelong - it was a pretty physical game," Williams said of an approach that led to a free kick count favouring the Cats 33-23.

"Port Adelaide play physical football and always have over the 130 years we've been around, so we've got to get back to our grass roots and I'm sure our supporters would really support that.

"We weren't perfect at it, but we improved certainly on what we'd dished up in the last few weeks."

Disputing the notion that Port had acted irrationally in their efforts to unsettle more accomplished opponents, Williams said he would prefer to receive negative press for attacking the man instead of the "soft" alternative.

"We gave away a lot of free kicks, most of them were there on reflection, but you talk one week about being soft, the next week about being too hard, the next week being soft," he said.

"So we haven't got the mix exactly right, but if we're going to err on one side we'd certainly rather err on the hard side than the soft side.

"Even if the premiership year we had the most frees against us and the most reports, that happens, certainly not going to be a premiership year right at this moment, but back then we had (Damien) Hardwick, (Josh) Carr, (Matthew) Primus, (Byron) Pickett, (Josh) Francou, (Roger) James, those sort of people.

"We'd like to think we can develop a group that matches that in the years to come."

For the first time since he lifted the premiership cup in 2004, a few questions have been raised about Williams' effectiveness as coach.

There is a view he now holds too many of the leadership cards at Port, but he said he was all about self-analysis.

"I question what I do, question what other people do and we adjust and improve.

"We look in the mirror every day and make sure it's not foggy and make sure we can look ourselves square in the eye and say have we given it the best shot or not."

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