SATURDAY'S meeting with Richmond will reveal plenty about how far Port Adelaide has progressed in its quest for respect, according to Power midfielder Kane Mitchell.

After finishing the last two seasons in 16th and 14th place, Port Adelaide flew out of the blocks with five consecutive wins to start 2013, but stumbled last weekend, dropping a close game to North Melbourne by 10 points in Hobart.

For the first time this year, Port Adelaide must bounce back, and Mitchell said the way the Power responded from a "down week" against the Tigers would be telling.

"That's how great teams are measured, and that's what we want to be," Mitchell said.

"We're still working on earning respect, but I think this is just another step towards earning that, bouncing back after a bit of a down week and getting the win."

The 23-year-old speedster echoed teammate Alipate Carlile's call for greater training intensity this week after the club lost yet another first quarter against the Kangaroos.

The Power have now lost four of their six opening terms this season, and against a typically fast-starting Richmond unit, Mitchell said he and every one of his teammates would need to be switched on from the first bounce.

"The message this week was we've been starting games a little bit slower, and hopefully we can change that at training," he said.

"They're a great side, they've got some absolute jet players, so it's going to be a real team effort to get on top of them – mids helping out the backs, forwards helping out the mids and mids helping out the forwards – it's all in."

Mitchell admitted he was still amazed to be playing AFL football after being re-elevated from the club's rookie list, this time to replace the injured Jackson Trengove.

The West Australian played the opening three games of the year before Nick Salter's return from injury meant he was demoted back to the rookie list.

Rather than see it as a distraction, Mitchell said his interrupted introduction to AFL football only emphasised the need for him to take his opportunities when they were presented.

"It's still a bit of 'pinch yourself’ stuff," he said.

"I was sitting up in those stands watching the boys come back against West Coast and it was just like, 'Wow, I was out there like a week or so ago, and hopefully I'll be out there again'.

"AFL is something you can't take for granted, it's something very special.

"You've got to really take your opportunities when you're playing AFL and enjoy every minute of it, and work as hard as you possibly can to stay there."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.