PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley isn't surprised the knives are out.

But he's not hurt by some Port fans calling for his sacking after a winless three rounds to open the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

"When you have been in this game as long as I have, is almost the expectation for me, to be honest," Hinkley told reporters on Wednesday.

"I am the least surprised person at Port Adelaide right now at the criticism because I have been in footy forever."

Port Adelaide players after the round three loss to Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on April 1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Hinkley said he's feeling the pain of Port fans entering Thursday night's clash against reigning premiers Melbourne.

"I can certainly share their frustration," he said.

"But I do know that I am going to, as is the club and everyone that works with me at the club, we're going to work as hard as we can to ease the frustration for them and for me and for the players.

"Our responsibility is to work hard and get these results turned back around as quickly as we possibly can.

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"I get that everyone would be equally as frustrated as I am.

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"I 100 per cent agree and understand the frustration that goes into any football season, be it lucky or unlucky.

"I have been around a long time. ... I understand that the frustrations get big at times like these but they can quickly disappear if you can just turn things around."

Hinkley said he's maintaining faith despite the Power's 0-3 start to a year they put winning the premiership on their agenda.


And he was heartened by messages of support from president David Koch and chief executive Matthew Richardson this week.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25: Port Adelaide Chairman David Koch announces new sponsor MG Motor Australia during the Port Adelaide media opportunity on February 25, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos)

"The support from within is what we would expect," he said. "We're a really connected football club inside and that is what just has to be.

"The boys believe and we believe in each other and we stick together - and that is what we are going to do ... We can't hide from the fact that results haven't been what we want.

"But no way getting out of it is by fracturing, we are just not going to do that."

Hinkley confirmed Tom Clurey would play against Melbourne on Thursday night but star veteran Robbie Gray would miss due to the health and safety protocols.

He said Gray would come out of the 'protocols' on the day of the game but it was too soon for him to turn around and play on the same night.

Robbie Gray receives treatment for an injury during Port Adelaide's R1 clash with Brisbane on March 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Several Power players have also come out in strong showings of support for Hinkley this week.

"That's a reflection of who we are as a football club," he said.

"Don't overplay what is going on. These people are working really hard to turn things around.

"They're bloody good people and they will do everything they can to stick together and make sure we do turn it around."