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Hinkley focused on team, not worried about job

Full post-match: Power Watch Port Adelaide's press conference after round five's match against Carlton
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: The Power celebrate a goal during the 2017 AFL round 05 match between Port Adelaide Power and the Carlton Blues at the Adelaide Oval on April 21, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media)
There was plenty for the Port players to celebrate on Friday
Mediocre has no place at Port Adelaide
David Koch

PORT Adelaide's resurgence into a genuine top-eight contender is more important to coach Ken Hinkley than the guarantee he will fulfill the final year of his contract.

After consecutive losses to flag favourites Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney, the Power smashed a woeful Carlton side to the tune of 90 points at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

The Power is now 3-2 after five rounds ahead of next Saturday's clash with the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.

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It's still early days, but the Power are showing glimpses of the form that propelled them high up the ladder in Hinkley's first two seasons in charge in 2013 and 2014.

Hinkley entered the season under external pressure after the Power had missed the finals for the past two years.

But before Friday night's game, Power chairman David Koch publicly stated the coach would remain in the top job in 2018 – the final year of his current contract.

"The football program is one thing – it's not me, it's not David, it's our footy club, it's as simple as that and we're in it together," Hinkley said.

"We don't worry about some of the external stuff and David's made some comments that can be read one way and read a different way.

"We've always been on the same page."

Koch told ABC Radio Hinkley would remain as coach of the Power next year, but kept the door slightly ajar if results go south during the rest of the season.

"If you want me to say Ken will run the course just to put it beyond any shadow of a doubt, Ken will run the course," Koch said.

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"There has been no disunity whatsoever and I don't think he feels on edge.

"There's a normal Port Adelaide caveat, that is, if you don't make finals, you fail.

"Mediocre has no place at Port Adelaide."

The Power appear to have improved greatly on their performances over the past two seasons.

"We're a different footy team and we're playing a different brand of football," Hinkley said.

"We're playing more consistent, honest, united, tough footy.

"If you look closely at us, you can see some of that.

"We've been brave enough as a football club to make some of those changes. But, it's only five games.

"The challenge for us, as it has been for a couple of years, is doing that for 22 games."

WATCH Ken Hinkley's full media conference

One of the many bright spots for the Power was the eye-catching debut of 19-year-old forward Aidyn Johnson, a late replacement for Hamish Hartlett who pulled out with a quad injury.

Johnson’s first kick resulted in a goal and he finished with two majors and 14 possessions.

"He came in tonight and he was great," Hinkley said of the teenager.

"He's a pretty good story from where he's come from.

"He hasn't played a lot of footy and I think there is some significant upside."

Johnson was the 45th overall selection in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, but was restricted to five SANFL games last year because of hamstring issues.