Consistency is Hawks' AFL key: Clarkson

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson wants his team to be competitive in all four quarters. (AAP)

Facing premiers West Coast, Hawthorn AFL coach Alastair Clarkson says his team won't move up the ladder until they start delivering in all four quarters.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says his team needs to deliver a four-quarter performance if they are to give themselves any chance of toppling AFL premiers West Coast at the MCG on Saturday.

The once high-flying Hawks head into the match against the fourth-placed Eagles on the back of three losses - coincidentally all by 19 points.

Clarkson said the narrow margins of the defeats meant their self-belief was still strong.

But only a consistent performance would see them match West Coast, who have superstar ruckman Nic Naitanui making his first senior appearance since suffering a second serious knee injury in round 17 last season.

"We are going to need to play well to win," Clarkson said on Friday.

"We give ourselves a chance because every game we've played this year we've been right in the contest but our consistency from quarter to quarter has been the issue.

"We haven't been able to put four genuine quarters together for a long period of time and if we don't do that tomorrow we are going to battle a bit."

Clarkson forecast more pain for his team until they nailed that consistency.

"That's a part of where we are at as a side right now but until we can actually improve that we'll stay somewhere in the middle of the ladder.

"When we start to become a consistent side, regularly winning three quarters or even all four, then we are going to be winning games and getting ourselves back up the ladder."

Sitting 12th and two clear games out of the eight, the match is a must-win if Hawthorn are to keep their hopes of playing finals alive.

Former skipper Jarryd Roughead is out with a side strain, although Clarkson was hopeful he would only miss a week.

Crafty young forward Ollie Hanrahan will make his AFL debut after two years in the VFL.

The 20-year-old was the hero of the finals series for Box Hill last season.

His play-on goal with one second remaining of the elimination final against Port Melbourne stole the win, with the Hawks going on to claim the title.

Source AAP

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