A FEW "nudges and pivots" might still be coming at Hawthorn but, for coach Alastair Clarkson, results like Friday afternoon's stirring comeback victory over Carlton shows the club is still capable of making an impact both now and in the future.

DON'T WRITE OFF HAWKS Full match coverage and stats

An under-fire Hawks outfit was staring down the barrel of a fifth straight defeat when they fell 31 points down to the Blues midway through the first quarter at Optus Stadium.

However, an inspired run that included nine of the next 10 goals ensured Clarkson's experienced side finally returned to the winners' list with a remarkable 31-point victory.

07:42 Mins
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Highlights: Carlton v Hawthorn

The Blues and Hawks clash in round nine

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It's sure to ease the criticism that has been directed at both Clarkson and his club's list after a month without a win. But the legendary four-time premiership coach refused to use the attention as fuel this week, saying the team's form deserved to be questioned.

"Most of it (the criticism) has been directed at me," Clarkson said.

"That's probably been a little bit fortunate, in terms of the players being sheltered from it.

00:46 Mins
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Staggering surge as Smith gives Hawks the lead

Hawthorn veteran Isaac Smith kicks his second goal and puts his side in front

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"The media's got every right to ask questions. We haven't been anywhere near our best over the last four weeks. But trying to push a divide between anyone at our football club is a fruitless exercise, because we're so strong and tight from the board right through to the coaching area and the players.

"We know where we're going. At the appropriate time, if we think we're not going in the right direction then we’ll pivot and go in a different direction. Those sort of nudges and pivots we've been making for 15 or 16 years. If we need to do so again, we will.

"We've just stuck fat. It's been a really tough period. They're extraordinary circumstances with which we're all playing the game at the current time.

00:39 Mins
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It's jump-on Jarman time with a goal on his return

Jarman Impey kicks a goal in his first game for 12 months and his teammates celebrate

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"We've had a dreadful patch over the last four weeks. We finally got a little bit of reward today, but we know we've got a lot of hard work to go.

"I think we've shown our capability. If we can just get on a little bit of a roll, in terms of playing that consistent footy over a period of time, then teams will be really concerned coming up against our side because they know our capability.

"But we need to be better than what we've been over the last four weeks."

14:14 Mins
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Clarkson: 'The media's got every right to ask questions'

Watch Hawthorn's press conference after round nine's match against Carlton

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For Carlton, it was another match dropped from a winnable position.

Having been in command at stages in games against Melbourne, Port Adelaide and now Hawthorn so far this year, Blues coach David Teague believes the side must address how it can resist opposition momentum swings better in the future.

"Everyone kept telling us we've got to get the starts right, but I'm not sure that's our best method," Teague said.

05:51 Mins
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Teague: 'We didn't have enough guys get their jobs done'

Watch Carlton's press conference after round nine's match against Hawthorn

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"(But) it is disappointing. We played such good footy, we won the contests, we got the ball deep in the forward line and our pressure and tackling was very good. I thought we tackled well all day, I don't think that dropped away.

"But our ability to maintain that at the moment is an issue. We need to keep addressing it and keep training it.

"We didn't have an even spread. We needed a bit more of an even spread and I thought we lacked a bit of composure at times from guys who have been really strong in that area.

"We didn't have enough guys get their jobs done today. It's as simple as that."