Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley still baulks at calling his AFL table-toppers the real deal.
“We’re a good team, there is no doubt,” Hinkley said after Port’s 14-point triumph against reigning champion Hawthorn on Saturday night.
“We are a good team when we play at our absolute best. But I think most sides in the competition at their absolute best are a good team.
“But we also know, it’s week-in, week-out that you have to do it.”
Port created a two-win break at the top of the ladder with their victory against Hawthorn, before 52,233 spectators at Adelaide Oval – the largest-ever crowd at an AFL match in Adelaide.
But Hinkley said there was no danger of Port believing the growing hype surrounding them as potential premiers.
“If I say we’re the real deal, it will get written up,” he said.
“Right now, I’m happy that we’re working well … and able to turn up most games and give ourselves a genuine chance,” he said.
“We have lost one game this year, by seven points against the Kangaroos who have been in good form against some quality teams.
“I would say that we have competed pretty hard every game we played. We are pretty consistent with our output each week.
“We are a really attentive group as far as what we need to do every week.
“Seriously, nothing will change … I will make sure, to the best of my ability, that we actually get back on the job.”
Hinkley expected Angus Monfries, who kicked four goals against the Hawks, to overcome an ankle injury and play against Melbourne next Saturday in Alice Springs.
But he was braced for bad news from state league ranks with fringe ruckman Brent Renouf and defender Campbell Heath both suffering suspected season-ending knee injuries on Saturday.