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Bassett: We were not as strong in the contest as we have been

Nathan Bassett press conference - 15 April 2019 - PTV Nathan Bassett speaks to the media about the clash with Richmond and looking ahead to the Eagles game this Friday.

PORT ADELAIDE assistant coach Nathan Bassett says there was a thorough review of his side’s seven-point loss to Richmond on Saturday evening.

Port gave up a three-goal lead in the second term and Bassett admits it’s important to always be educating the players and looking at ways to improve.

“We are always in a place where we are trying to educate our players away from the emotion of the result,” Bassett said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

“It’s always frustrating and disappointing straight after the game especially when you’ve had a loss, particularly one where you had your chances and you didn’t play the way you would’ve liked.

“We’ve had two days to clear our heads, it’s good to have a good conversation about how we played - what we did well and what we didn’t.”

“We were not as strong in the contest as we have been - certainly post-stoppage and also the last two weeks we have conceded a lot from stoppage. It’s an area we need to improve.”

Port’s midfield has had a good start to season 2019, especially Travis Boak, who has recorded four consecutive 30+ disposal games - and Tom Rockliff who has been a ball magnet, but Bassett says the coaching group is still trying to get the combination right in the middle.

“They’ve (the midfield group) had two very good weeks in the first two weeks,” he said.

“It has been quite a new combination and they’ve had some significant adjustments in personnel.

“They are learning how to work together but we need a bit more of that contest to contest hunt.

“It’s been ok - certainly been better than the back half of last season but not quite where we need it to be.”

Sam Powell-Pepper has found himself in more of a forward role at the start of this season, and the forwards coach says that’s all about trying to find a balance for the young gun.

“We’ve tried to get him forward a little bit more, I think for balance in his game,” Bassett said.

“I think we got that balance just about right against Brisbane - he did spend a lot of that first half in the forward line then went on ball in the quarter and really made an impact.

“He had the opportunity at both ends on Saturday and didn’t make an impact.”

Port Adelaide play reigning premiers West Coast at Optus Stadium in Perth on Good Friday.