Gutted Mitchell flags training changes after Suns slump

By Murray Wenzel
Updated April 14 2024 - 3:40am, first published 3:32am
Hawks coach Sam Mitchell questioned his side's work ethic and phyicality in the Gold Coast loss. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)
Hawks coach Sam Mitchell questioned his side's work ethic and phyicality in the Gold Coast loss. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

Coach Sam Mitchell has warned his winless Hawthorn side to expect a torrid week of training as he questioned their work ethic and physicality after a 53-point loss to Gold Coast.

Mitchell, the four-time Hawthorn premiership player, was clearly shattered after the Saturday night 16.13 (109) to 8.8 (56) thumping in Carrara, labelling their effort "as bad as we've played in a long time".

The Hawks' fifth-straight loss to begin the season followed an encouraging effort against defending premiers Collingwood last week.

But the coach felt there were more questions than answers after a game in which he conceded they'd been bested in every facet.

The Suns had 367 disposals to their 269, the hosts boasting seven of the top-eight ball getters.

At halftime only two Hawks had more than nine touches, Karl Amon (26) finishing as the only visitor with more than 19.

They laid 43 tackles to the Suns' 60, Gold Coast second-gamer Will Graham with 14 alone while no Hawk had more than four.

Mitchell rattled off a laundry list of issues ranging from skill execution to the inability to follow a game plan and was extremely critical of his side's poor handling of the Suns' pressure.

"There is a lot of things," he groaned.

"I had a chat with the players around the standard we hold ourselves to.

"Our training, how much extras we do, how much time we put in, how much tape we watch.

"If you're not looking under every rock to figure it out.

"I don't know how many players you'd say were in good form for us at the moment, coaches too."

Mitchell said what had been discussed midweek wasn't implemented on the field and added that, after a run of six-day turnarounds, training might look different ahead of a crunch Sunday clash with North Melbourne.

"We get an extra day and our training's been on the lighter side, but I think we're probably going to have to ramp a few things up during the week," he said.

"If we lose one, get a corkie or something like that, we probably have to accept that.

"Because we can't play with the physicality we did tonight and expect to be competitive."

Australian Associated Press