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Crows for a day: Clarko, Hawks cross fingers for finals miracle

'Long game', not finals, is Clarko's focus Alastair Clarkson stressed that finals are not a priority for his side but rather it is on the long game

HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson will become an Adelaide fan for a day as his side attempts to hold onto eighth place on the ladder on what looms as a thrilling finale to the regular season. 

The Hawks moved into the top eight by defeating the Eagles in Perth by 38 points on Saturday night and can feature in the post-season if results go their way on Sunday.

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Clarkson and his men must first rely on the Crows beating the Bulldogs in Ballarat by fewer than 95 points, and then hope Port Adelaide either loses to Fremantle, or beats the Dockers by less than Adelaide's winning margin.

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Clarkson is well known for his out-of-the-box tactics on the field and the master coach came up with a novel way of helping the Crows cause an upset in the pivotal final day contest.

"What they do in the country is they ring up the opposition and offer them a barrel (of beer)," Clarkson joked. 

"We might have to put a barrel on for the Adelaide Crows boys to get up tomorrow." 

While Clarkson had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, the Hawks coach knows there's nothing he can do to further help the Hawks' finals chances.

"That is out of our control," Clarkson said of the final-day permutations.

"Irrespective of what happens, it's about the long game for us. 

"We cross our fingers and hope a couple of the results will go our way tomorrow and if we get there, great.

"I hope our supporters back home are proud of the effort of the boys and have seen in the second half of the year...some of the young guys running around for us have got a big future for us."

If the Hawks sneak into the finals they will enter the post-season on a three-game winning streak, having tasted success in six of their past eight matches.

It's no surprise that that upturn in form has coincided with some consistent performances from off-season recruit Chad Wingard and the former Port Adelaide star was among the Hawks' best against the Eagles on Saturday.

Wingard finished the clash with a team-high 28 disposals and Clarkson hopes Hawthorn fans can see how valuable the 26-year-old will be to their fortunes in the coming years. 

"He was terrific (tonight)...He has played six or seven on the trot now and we are still learning on him and he is still learning on us," Clarkson said.

"Our fans out there got a taste of what Chad Wingard can do for our footy club over the next five, six or seven years."