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Clarkson answers criticism after Hawks win

The four-time premiership coach believes his side has shown what it is capable of and that the Hawks will concern sides in the second half of the season.

“The media has every right to ask the questions. We haven’t been anywhere near our best over the last four weeks,” he said.

“But trying to push a divide between anyone at our football club is a fruitless exercise really, because we are so strong and tight, from the board right through to the coaching area and the players.

“We know where we are going. At the appropriate time, if we think we’re not going in the right direction, we’ll pivot and go in a different direction. And those sort of nudges and pivots, we have been making for 15 or 16 years and if we need to do so again, we will.”

Jaeger O'Meara looks to get a pass away against Carlton at Optus Stadium.

Jaeger O’Meara looks to get a pass away against Carlton at Optus Stadium.Credit:Getty Images

Ironically, it was the senior players at Hawthorn that sparked the fightback after the slow start. Amid calls for Clarkson to start looking towards the draft and stop trading picks, Liam Shiels, Shaun Burgoyne, Jack Gunston and Isaac Smith were instrumental in the win against the Blues.

Gunston returned from a four-week lay-off due to a broken jaw and Jarman Impey played his first AFL game in more than 12 months since injuring his ACL.

Burgoyne is the only concern going into their round-11 clash with Fremantle on August 10. The veteran didn’t finish Friday’s game due to ‘tightness’.

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But Clarkson said he thought his team had shown it is capable.

“We have just stuck phat; it has been a really tough period, extraordinary circumstances in which we are all playing the game in the current time,” he said.

“We have had a dreadful patch in the past four weeks; finally get a little bit of reward today.

“We know we have a lot of hard work to go, but I think we have shown our capability.

“If we can get on a little bit of a roll, in terms of playing consistent footy over a period of time, then teams will be very concerned coming up against our side, because they know our capability.”

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