MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Players scuffle during the round 21 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and Port Adelaide Power at Etihad Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Clarkson questions Port’s toughness

Ahead of the Hawks’ clash with Port on Thursday night, Alastair Clarkson has questioned the Power’s toughness.

Clarkson said that Port’s most recent wins over the three-time reigning premiers have been fuelled by their preliminary final loss to Hawthorn in 2014.

However, Clarkson said that the Power are yet to prove they have the toughness to play at that level week in, week out.

“They’ve played some good footy, but we’ve been particularly disappointing in those games too,” Clarkson said at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday.

“They’re probably smarting a bit from a preliminary final loss two years ago, that’s probably fuelled a lot of their motivation to play the last couple of times we’ve played them.

“But it’s very hard to do that on a sustainable basis and we like to think we’ve proved ourselves over a long period of time, from week to week, playing tough, hard footy.

“And Port Adelaide are yet to prove that they can do that on a week-to-week basis.

“Even those comments themselves will fuel a bit of spite.

“We can endure and we can withstand whatever’s thrown at us and there’s no greater environment, more hostile environment than Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night.”

The Power currently sit ninth on the ladder with seven wins and seven losses, but are yet to beat a top eight side this season.