PORT Adelaide captain Tom Jonas says a horror home loss to Hawthorn will burn, but isn't evidence of his club being a spent force.
The Power, tipped by many to be a premiership contender, remain winless after two rounds following Saturday night's 64-point defeat to the unfancied Hawks.
The heavy loss has prompted some pundits to query the credentials of Jonas' side, which has lost home preliminary finals in the past two seasons.
"People say a lot of things and they will say some different things this week, I am sure," Jonas told reporters on Monday.
"But we have 24 months of hard work into this group.
"The connection space, the skills, the gameplan ... we remain confident.
"Right now, we have to focus on what is not right and get back to playing good footy."
Jonas said the Hawthorn loss "should burn with our players".
"It will drive us to be better," he said.
"Our skills were not at the expected level.
"We won centre bounce but we didn't maximise those, our defence was not where we expected it to be.
"There were good opportunities to move the ball and we let ourselves down by hand and foot - there is going to be plenty to reflect on."
Port meets home-town rivals Adelaide - also winless this season - on Friday night with key forward Charlie Dixon's return from pre-season knee surgery still uncertain.
But Jonas cautioned against thinking Dixon's return would automatically solve Port's woes.
"It certainly is not a matter of just putting Charlie in, as much as we would like to think it is," he said.
"It would be unfair on him.
"We always talk about this being a team game and sharing the load, that is exactly the case.
"It's about getting Charlie fit and ready to go, it's not about rolling him out when he is not ready."
The Power are also missing triple club champion Robbie Gray (knee), goalsneak Orazio Fantasia (knee), key backman Aliir Aliir (ankle) while fullback Trent McKenzie suffered an ankle injury in the defeat to Hawthorn.
But Jonas said their absences weren't being offered as an excuse.
"We have shown in previous seasons that the squad mentality works for us," he said.
"Sometimes things do not go to plan but we pride ourselves on playing a team game rather than relying on individuals."