Alastair Clarkson says he's donned a metaphorical hard hat in the wake of recent criticism, but the four-time premiership coach is adamant Hawthorn's current form woes don't mean he needs to rebuild his list from the ground up.
Following disappointing losses to GWS and Collingwood, Hawks premiership player Jordan Lewis questioned whether Clarkson had the enthusiasm to oversee a lengthy list transformation.
But Clarkson, who joked president Jeff Kennett once drew a coffin on the whiteboard following a run of losses, has seen it all before and was upbeat when he spoke to reporters ahead of Sunday's pivotal clash with Melbourne at Giants Stadium.
"We've had to have the old building construction hard hats on this week, we've copped it from left, right and centre, including our old boys from the club," Clarkson said.
"But that's the territory we're in ... we've lost two on the bounce and we're in disappointing form.
"We're easy targets in a sense.
"(But) we've got an exciting group of young players coming through and we're happy with the group that we've got."
Clarkson is tied to the club until the end of the 2022 season and has always been clear that he would never walk away from a commitment to the club.
Pressed on his future beyond this season, Clarkson reiterated his bullish stance on his current squad and restated his oft-mentioned desire to hand the club over to the next coach in a strong position.
"At some point in time, I'm not going to be the coach of this footy club ... I don't know whether that's going to be in 12 months time or 20 years," he said, adding it would ultimately be the club's decision.
"But what I want to be part of is whenever that baton is changed to the whoever is the next coach, that the club is in a really good position.
"But right now we've put together a list and yes it's an ageing list ... (but) we think we can get there with the injection of some young players.
"We're excited with where our club is positioned and where we can go, but right at the present time its easy to throw darts when we haven't performed on the field as well as we'd like."
With Jon Ceglar out with a foot injury, Clarkson confirmed ruckman-turned-defender Ben McEvoy would resume ruck duties against Demons star Max Gawn.
Classy veteran Shaun Burgoyne, tall forward Mitchell Lewis and former Saint Darren Minchington were added to the line-up, with Paul Puopolo (omitted) and Jon Patton (hamstring) out.