PORT ADELAIDE senior coach Ken Hinkley is excited about the challenge of coming up against the fourth-placed Brisbane Lions on Sunday afternoon at Adelaide Oval.
Hinkley says Brisbane’s position on the ladder is a result of the body of work they’ve put in throughout the season to date.
“They are a top four side (for a reason),” Hinkley said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
“If you look at their whole season, their body of work would suggest that they’re a really good side and they’ve done everything that they could possibly do.”
In the last meeting between the two sides, Lions on-baller Lachie Neale dominated the midfield battle, collecting 43 disposals.
Hinkley acknowledged the performance of the 26-year-old, and says the Power must work to limit not only Neale’s influence on the contest, but also other damaging players in the Brisbane side.
“I think every side in the competition has tried (to tag him),” he said.
“Lachie is one part of their team, but so is (Dayne) Zorko, so his (Hugh) McCluggage, so is (Stefan) Martin, so is (Luke) Hodge, (Daniel) Rich, there’s so many there, (including) Charlie Cameron.
“They are such a good team now. They’ve really developed quickly.”
The senior coach knows the importance of the contest in the centre of the ground in the current climate, and is backing his midfield in for another strong showing against the Lions this weekend.
“We back them in (our midfield) against other midfield groups,” Hinkley said.
“Sometimes it works for us and sometimes it hasn’t worked for us, and clearly with a couple of our most recent losses, we haven’t been able to control the oppositions’ best midfield players that well.”
Hinkley recognises his side hasn’t had consecutive wins for a couple of months, but the belief within his emerging group is building ahead of the Lions clash.
“I think they’re a really talented group who’ve got opportunities in front of them and they’ve got to take those opportunities,” he said.
“Us collectively as a club - we have to take those opportunities and make them count and it’s another chance for us to do that.”
The Power host the Brisbane Lions on Sunday afternoon at Adelaide Oval with the first bounce commencing at 4.10pm.