CHAD WINGARD should be named in Port Adelaide's team on Thursday night and is expecting Essendon's new-look side to present a genuine challenge on Saturday. 

Having missed the Power's last two clashes against Geelong and Hawthorn with a calf strain, Wingard is looking forward to the chance to rejoin his teammates in the midfield.

He says the intensity brought by Port in the first quarter agianst Hawthorn - keeping the visitors scoreless - will again be critical on the hard deck of Etihad Stadium.

"They're trying to work on consistent football, and obviously with the team they [Essendon] have tried to put together over the past couple of years, people coming back into the side, a lot of youth, we've just got to come back out with the same mentality in the first quarter," Wingard told

"We've got to come back with the killer instinct and it really starts with our midfield... hopefully guys like Paddy and Ollie can help us set the tone.

Notable over the season has been Port Adelaide's massive scoring Power, but equally has been its inability to convert massive numbers inside attacking 50 to six-pointers on the scoreboard.

Wingard says while the stats showing Port's inaccuracy are tough to swallow, the only way to rectify them is by focussing on craft around goal at training during the week.

"We've got to keep working on our craft. I think we kick about 4.14 from snaps," he said.

"You can throw stats at anyone, but at the end of the day, you've just got to keep working on your craft and doing the extra things that will come on game day."

If Wingard is declared fit, it is likely the Power will make one unforced change given their strong showing against Hawthorn, and a solid effort against Geelong the week before despite the loss.


Port travels to Essendon on Friday 9 June following its final captain's run at Alberton Oval at around 8.30am. The club then plays the Dons at Etihad Stadium on Saturday 10 June at 7.25pm AEST.

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