Port AFL coach backs misfiring Dixon

Steve Larkin
Charlie Dixon must work hard to reverse his form slump, says Port Adelaide AFL coach Ken Hinkley

Port Adelaide AFL coach Ken Hinkley would love some goals and big marks from misfiring forward Charlie Dixon.

But more than that, Hinkley wants one thing from the struggling spearhead: compete.

Dixon has kicked just seven goals this season in 10 matches, entering Friday night's Adelaide Oval fixture against reigning premiers Richmond.

"He's not in his best form; he wouldn't hide away from that," Hinkley said.

"We spoke about it this week: it's not about kicking goals, it's not about taking marks - we would love all those things, don't get me wrong. I don't want him not to do that.

"But just compete, first and foremost.

"Bring the ball to ground and make sure we can put on a really significant contest in our forward 50 and that will help the team get where we want to go.

"With the prediction of the weather ... that is what we should expect from our bigger players."

Rain is forecast on Friday night in Adelaide where the eighth-placed Power host the second-placed Tigers.

Hinkley said lack of confidence was just one aspect to Dixon's slump.

"Confidence is always mentioned when players are a little bit down on their absolute best form - there's no doubt about that," he said.

"But there is only one way out - you just keep working at it and keep turning up.

"And I said to Charlie ... if you keep working hard, it eventually turns."

Port will host a Richmond outfit missing their Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin because of a groin injury.

Martin is in New Zealand visiting his father but will return next week to training and is expected to play on Sunday week against Geelong.

Martin has previously missed just one game in his 189-match career - in 2014.