Hawthorn midfielder Isaac Smith says the side is feeling refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the season after its bye round.
The Hawks sit in 11th position with five wins to their name but are yet to win two consecutive games.
“We feel like we’ve got a handle on why we weren’t performing,” Smith told RSN 927’s the Breakfast Club.
“Hopefully we can go out and rectify it in the back half of the season.”
Smith said the club believed there was “both mental and physical problems” associated with the team’s inconsistency in the early stages of the season.
“Any team outside the eight is finding it frustrating. You play this game to win premierships, so I am sure there’s some frustration there (at Hawthorn),” he said.
Smith said Friday night’s game against Essendon was “massive for both them and us.”
“If you don’t start winning now, you lose touch with the eight.”
Smith said he was “surprised” to see a fan ejected from a game recently over allegedly disrespectful comments to an umpire during a match.
“I nearly fell over. As a player you cop more than that. I don’t think any Essendon fans will be saying on Friday night, ‘nice kick, Isaac, good mark.’ I was surprised anyone got thrown out for that.”