Hawthorn Senior Coach Sam Mitchell was pleased with the efforts of the Hawks playing group following their ability to grind out a six-point win over GWS on Saturday afternoon at University of Tasmania Stadium.

Speaking post-game, Mitchell spoke about his team’s ability to handle close games and the progress of the side overall after wins in six of their last eight matches.

We’ve summarised some of the key points from his press conference below.

On how the side is handling close games

“We’ve done a bit of work on it this year. We lost a few close ones last year, we lost by under a kick against the Giants last year in Gather Round. We didn’t get it all right today, I think we made quite a few errors in that late part of the game so we need to assess that. I think our last game here against the Saints was close as well. We’ve been on the right side of most of them but we’ve obviously lost the Port Adelaide one so I mean, as a young side, you continue to learn and improve and get better in those areas, (including) understanding what’s needed at different times of the game.”

On Mabior Chol’s performance 

“Mabior’s been as consistent as he’s ever been across his career and I think he did some vital things for us. We knew that we were really going to be up against it with the aerial battle against GWS, they’re the number one contested marking team in the competition and their forwards and backs are really A-grade in that area. I thought Jack Gunston’s role on (Sam) Taylor and then Mabior and Calsher (Dear) were really able to control the air in the front half and at least not get beaten in that area very often. I thought Mabior was excellent and his leadership around the aerial play and his presence on the rest of the group was vital today, particularly after Ned (Reeves) went down.”

On the team’s progress 

“We’re really focused on what’s right in front of us. We know we’ve got a long way to go and we’re far from a finished product. We’re learning every week. We have quite a consistent mid-week process where we’ll review this game, learn from this game and we’ll spend the middle of next week learning the next step for us in our progress. Then, we’ll get ready for Richmond later in the week. Every week we sort of follow the same routine.” 

Watch Mitchell’s full post-game press conference below.