The Eagles have lost six of their last seven matches including a 38-point loss to North Melbourne last Sunday that has been described as "unacceptable" by the playing group.
Despite a very honest and detailed review of the loss, Simpson said his challenge this week is not to destroy the confidence of his players.
"I didn't sleep too well the last few days trying to work out how to get the guys to recognise what happened and then to front up this week," Simpson said.
"You can't go too deep to the point where it's irreversible. You've got to get them back on track."
Simpson did say that facing the Hawks in Launceston on Saturday after such a poor showing last week was the ultimate test of character.
"We'll find out a lot about our players and our coaches this week," Simpson said.
"It's a really tough challenge, coming off a week that was disappointing with effort."
The first-year coach has stated all week that the Eagles' lack of intent against North Melbourne was what disappointed him most, however the quality of ball movement from midfield into attack has been a constant struggle for his side, despite it being the cornerstone of his first pre-season in charge.
"Offensively there's been some breakdown and that's what we've been training all pre-season," Simpson said.
"Our ball use, our skill, the options we take, the options we provide, all those things are consistently a work in progress."
"I've got a bit of patience with that one. Sometimes we see it working really well at training and it doesn't come across on game day.
"It's just a progression we're going through and hopefully it's sooner rather than later."
The Eagles will be without key forward Josh Kennedy for the clash with Hawthorn after he required minor surgery to fix a depressed fracture of his cheekbone.
Simpson declared that skipper Darren Glass would return and that 22-year-old key position player Jeremy McGovern would also be included for just his second game after he debuted in round six against Carlton.