GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew says it's a "blight on the game" that talk of Alastair Clarkson's next move has begun less than a week after announcing he would part ways from Hawthorn at season's end.
Dew, who famously played under Clarkson in the Hawks' 2008 premiership, said it was time to laud Clarkson's achievement rather than speculate on "where next".
HEAT ON THE SUNS The coaches, the contracts, the questions
The Suns are one of many clubs the four-time premiership coach has been loosely linked to, with an existing relationship with CEO Mark Evans.
Dew, who is contracted until the end of 2022, said he could understand the interest around Clarkson, but thought it was premature.
"It's barely a week old," Dew said.
"I think we need to acknowledge the contribution he's made to the game and in particular the Hawthorn Football Club, I think we owe him that respect.
"He's not making a decision on anything in the next small period.
"We've got a great relationship, him and I, so I think if there's ever any breaking news I think we'll tell each other.
"We should, for a minute, take a breath.
"Otherwise, if this is how a legend of the game exits a footy club, well then that's a blight on the game to be honest, if we're jumping straight into ‘what's he doing next?’”
Dew said the scrutiny around his own role following Gold Coast's 98-point loss to Melbourne last week was fair, and to be expected.
However, he remained confident in the direction of the 6-13 Suns ahead of Saturday's match against Carlton.
"We think our players have created a great environment, have bought into the plan. They're confident where we're going and that's the most important thing, what our players and staff are telling us," Dew said.
"From the outside looking in, we understand at times that’s looked grim, but at times people have been really positive about us.
'They're my ultimate feedback, what our players and staff are telling us and how they feel."