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Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has downplayed suggestions the club's coaching succession announcement impacted his side on the field.
The Hawks were thrashed by 62 points at the hands of Fremantle on Saturday afternoon at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.
The club earlier this week revealed Clarkson would step down at the end of the 2022 season and hand the reins to Sam Mitchell.
"It's hard to say," Clarkson said when asked if the news was a distraction for the playing group.
"Based on (the) performance you'd say they looked flat but we've got a young side.
"We had some injuries and we couldn't win the ball in the middle of the ground. How much do you link all that?
"The first six or seven minutes of the game we tackled ferocious and (you'd think) nothing of the week has been of concern to them in terms of their approach to the game.
"We needed to compete strongly in the middle of the ground to give us a chance, and we lowered our colours to a pretty good midfield."
Hawthorn's woes were compounded by an injury to Changkuoth Jiath, who suffered knee damage that may rule him out for the season.
"CJ has got some form of PCL injury," Clarkson said.
"We'll probably take a conservative approach with him and with only six weeks (to go), it'll be doubtful that he'll get back this year, but we'll just wait and see."
Jack Scrimshaw was substituted out of the match after copping a knock to the head from a teammate.
Clarkson said Scrimshaw had been suffering a migraine prior to the game and would be assessed in the coming 24 hours.
Hawthorn were without Blake Hardwick, who was a late withdrawal due to a hamstring problem.
Clarkson said his team lacked punch out of halfback with the likes of James Sicily and Jarman Impey sidelined.
"We probably fielded our youngest side for a long, long period of time," he said.
"We'll continue to battle on and see if we can find a couple of guys over the next few weeks who will help us in the years to come."