Hawthorn vice-captain Liam Shiels.
Hawthorn vice-captain Liam Shiels. JULIAN SMITH

Hawk puts onus on players, not coach

ONE of Hawthorn's on-field leaders has called the club's final quarter against Geelong "just not good enough" and laid responsibility for the club's situation with the players, not coach Alastair Clarkson.

Hawthorn vice-captain Liam Shiels challenged the players and leadership group to demand more of one another following their record 86-point thrashing by Geelong, which has the fallen Hawks sitting at 0-4 on the bottom of the ladder.

Shiels, a triple premiership player and joint vice-captain, said there had been an effort by the team for the first three quarters of the game until the last quarter, when the Cats booted 11 goals.

Shiels described the Easter Monday performance - on the heels of another 86-point thrashing by the Gold Coast - as "extremely disappointing".

He added: "I mean, we were probably in the game (at) three quarter time, five goals down, hadn't played too bad, but then extremely disappointed in the last quarter - just not good enough."

Shiels said while Clarkson had been driving standards, the lead had to come from the players, not the coach.

"He's been fine. Obviously he's probably never been in this position as a coach before either.

"He's riding us, but it's not up to Clarko to do that, it's up to us as a leadership group and the players to drive each other to improve.

"He's been driving the standards like he has over his whole career. He hasn't changed at all. But ... it's up to the players, it's got nothing to do with Clarko ... it's up to the players to drive each other and expect more from each other."

Shiels, who joined Hawthorn for the 2009 season, said the current position was "a different feeling" to what he had experienced.

"So as player - and most of the boys at this club probably haven't been in this position before - yeah, we're going to have to do something about it."

"We've just got to demand more from each other. We'll go through the tape. No doubt, there will be a few efforts there that weren't good enough. So as a leadership group we've got to demand more from each other, we expect more from each other."

Asked if they could forget finals in 2017, Shiels said: "No, not at all. But at this stage, we're just taking it one week at a time. I know it's a cliche but when you're zero and four you have to - so training on the track, make sure we're hard on each other and driving it, we're getting the basics right on game day and hopefully it turns around.

"To be honest, it's a combination of everything. When you lose by that much, you can't just pinpoint it to one thing. It's a collective of all the players and all the three phases of the game."

Shiels said after reviewing the Suns loss, the Hawks had worked on the basics such as "nailing the tackle" and getting over to support teammates, "and for the majority of the day today we did that. But it's just extremely disappointing that we didn't do it for the last quarter and they got such a run on."

News Corp Australia

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