Hawthorn Senior Coach Sam Mitchell has shared insight into his side’s 51-point loss against the Cats on Saturday afternoon.

Fronting the media post-game, Mitchell discussed the elements of the Hawks performance on the day, but also reiterated that his side is still growing and are not yet a finished product.

Take a look at the key points from Mitchell’s post-match press conference below.

On the result

“We haven’t played here for a long time, so certainly it was hard for us today. They’re a good side and I’ve said it in most of my press conferences, we’re not a finished product and when you watch the best teams play, that’s what they look like. Even though we’ve had a good block of games, we’re playing some good footy, I still think there’s a gap from us and the teams at the top and they were one of those today, they have been for a long time. They’re got a lot of experience in that side, and they handled everything we threw at them with relative ease. We obviously didn’t handle the start of the game very well and they were too good to let us have a sniff at any stage to get back into it.”

Growth of group

“We talk regularly about the growth in our game, for a couple of years now, for two and a half years now we’ve been talking about what’s the next step in our progression. We’ve had a really clear strategic plan which has been well documented for a couple of years and we know that making steps towards what we need to be able to produce at a higher, consistent level. Sydney are still two games clear on top, they’re the teams you need to knock off and we’re building towards that.

“Despite us winning a few games on the trot of late, I still look at the best sides you know, Sydney, Geelong today obviously and you say okay, we’re working towards beating that on a consistent basis. There’s an enormous amount of things that go into that, play belief, confidence, personnel, system, there’s a hundred things that go into it, that’s the beauty of the game, we’re getting closer but we’re still a work in progress.”

Handling pressure from opposition teams

“It’s a damn tough game. It’s such an easy game from the coaches box or media box, you watch it and say ‘why didn’t you spoil that?’ or ‘why didn’t you mark that one?’ but when you’re out there there’s enormous amount of noise and people yelling the whole time and players yelling lots of different things, so it’s a much more difficult game. When you’re really in sync in general you make good decisions and when there’s a lot of pressure on you decision making goes down and it’s the same in every game. We know we want to be a side that plays consistent, high-level football under any circumstance and finals are all going to feel like that.

“So we know that we need to be a side that produces our best when the most is on the line, we didn’t do that today. I think we have on other occasions, I thought when Dusty (Martin) kicked the first goal of the game against Richmond, I thought we settled and we were able to turn it around quite quickly, but we didn’t handle it as well today. As I’ve said a lot of times, we’re a work in progress and we’re always taking strides to where we want to be but we’re not there yet.”

Watch Mitchell’s full Round 17 post-game press conference below.