Port players 'jumpy', says winless Primus - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port players 'jumpy', says winless Primus

By Steve Larkin 15/04/2011 05:40:46 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus says his hardline approach has resulted in "jumpy" players at his AFL club.

But the new, so far winless coach, denied deliberately sending a message by axing established stars including triple best and fairest Kane Cornes.

Primus surprisingly ended Cornes' streak of 174 consecutive AFL games by dropping him for Saturday night's clash with arch rivals Adelaide.

He also discarded experienced dasher Danyle Pearce in a recent tough trend.

"After three losses like we have had, I think most players would be pretty jumpy about where they're at," Primus said on Friday.

"They believe in themselves, but they know that you keep going like that, eventually there are going to be changes.

"If it sends a strong message, it does, (but) it's more about finding a 22 that will play the way we want to play and the way I want them to play."

Primus this week ratified a $2500 fine for youngster Hamish Hartlett, who admitted to drinking a few beers on return to Adelaide after last weekend's loss in Geelong.

And Primus earlier this year suspended gifted goalsneak Daniel Motlop for slack recovery from an injury and overlooked club favourite Chad Cornes for Port's season opener.

"It has got to do with our playing group and what they want to stand for," Primus said.

"We spent a fair bit of time working on that over the pre-season off the field and it's something that they're willing to go down.

"It's not an easy path to go down, it's easy to say we're going to do it, but it's not easy to keep walking down that path.

"They are walking down it at the moment and we'll have people that get a whack because of it and learn from it.

"But hopefully in two weeks time, in six months time, in six years time, the group and the club is a lot better for it."

Primus said omitting dual All Australian Kane Cornes was form related as the 28-year-old, renowned as a master tagger, struggled with a new half-back role.

"It wasn't easy to do," he said.

"But it's all about trying to find our best 22 this weekend to get a victory up for the club.

"As a coach and football players and football clubs, that is what you go through.

"Kane got on with it and moved on and I'm sure he'll be doing everything he can to get back."

Primus said he was not relying on fronting their home town rival Adelaide on Saturday night to trigger a response from his players.

"We'd be kidding ourselves if we did," he said.

"You're not going to produce anything as a football club of any great insight or strength if we rely on a game or an opposition to get ourselves up."

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