COACH Ken Hinkley flatly rejects the theory that Port Adelaide needs to claim a big scalp like Geelong to prove its AFL premiership credentials.
The Power enter Thursday night's clash against the Cats at Adelaide Oval in fifth spot, with eight wins and three losses.
Those defeats have been against fellow contenders - the Western Bulldogs, Brisbane and West Coast.
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Hinkley was blunt when asked if Port needed to beat the third-placed Cats to prove themselves.
"Nup ... I absolutely don't," he told reporters on Wednesday.
"I knew that would be the first question I'd get asked.
"You know what, it's part of the qualifying season, it's part of what we need to do - we want to win, it's a massive game.
"But in the bigger picture, every week is a big game, every game is a big moment, every opportunity in the 22 qualifying rounds is a big moment.
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"You need to get as many as you can right and come the end of 22 rounds ... (it's) whether you have done enough to get yourself in a position to qualify to play in the finals and then how high up in the finals you can play.
"So I don't separate the importance of any game. I find every game incredibly important.
"Whichever team wins tomorrow night won't sit there and go 'we are way better off than we were for September' when we haven't even got there yet."
The blockbuster on Thursday night will only proceed after South Australian health authorities cleared Geelong's arrival in the state, given the Victoria's coronavirus restrictions.
The Cats entered quarantine on Monday and have only been allowed to leave their homes for training.
"We appreciate the fact of what everyone is doing to make the season continue," Hinkley said.
"I mean Geelong, appreciate the fact that they are doing what they are doing right now."
Both Port and the Cats are resuming after their bye weekend, with Hinkley adding Boyd Woodcock to Port's 23-man squad as a replacement for Orazia Fantasia, who will miss at least a fortnight after a knee arthroscopy.