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Return of Roughead crucial for Cats clash, says Clarkson

Alex Malcolm  August 17, 2014 10:01 PM

Post-match: Hawks Watch Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson's post-match press conference
AFL 2014 Rd 21 - Fremantle v Hawthorn

Sam Mitchell avoided the Ryan Crowley tag to pick up 24 possessions in the loss to Freo

If you take one of your best players out of any side in the competition it's going to make a big difference
HAWTHORN desperately missed suspended star Jarryd Roughead up forward in Sunday's loss to Fremantle, according to coach Alastair Clarkson.
 
The Hawks' 19-point loss to the Dockers at Patersons Stadium has put their top-two hopes in jeopardy.
 
They must beat Geelong and Collingwood in the next two weeks to guarantee a home qualifying final. 
 
Clarkson said Roughead's return from suspension to face the Cats next Saturday night is vital as he was sorely missed against Fremantle.
 
Talking points: Fremantle v Hawthorn

"We had a pretty important player to our mix in Roughead out of the game," Clarkson said.
 
"He makes a significant difference. If you take one of your best players out of any side in the competition it's going to make a big difference. 
 
"He'll help us with that presence in our front half. We were pretty small at times and pretty inexperienced at others.
 
"Roughead will come back into the side next week I'm sure and help us in the weeks to come."
 
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Clarkson was not overly concerned by the 19-point loss despite his side failing to capitalise on its dominance in the opening term. 

The Hawks had 10 more inside 50s and eight more scoring shots than the Dockers but kicked just 4.7 to lead by 13 points at the first change.
 
Thereafter, the Dockers midfield took over with David Mundy, Michael Barlow and Nat Fyfe seizing control in the centre square.
 
"Their bigger bodied midfielders really caused us some concerns over the course of the afternoon," Clarkson said.
 
"They deserved their victory, they played really well. We were a little bit off.   
 
"We're not going to cry too much about this loss.
 
"We've played some pretty good footy over the course of the year, so we just have to lick our wounds a little bit and get ourselves ready for the Cats next Saturday night."
 
The Hawks appeared to come away unscathed as far as injuries are concerned. Matt Suckling was subbed out at three-quarter time after rolling his ankle but Clarkson was certain it wasn't serious.
 
"It was at a time when we were considering who we would sub," Clarkson said.
 
"So it was an easy call for us. He actually went back on to the ground after he was taped up. We needed to make a call on a player and he obviously had a slight niggle to it."