GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson looks on during the round three AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Hawthorn Hawks at Metricon Stadium on April 9, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

SEN hosts Garry Lyon and Tim Watson have applauded the coaching performance of Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson this season.

Watson said Clarkson has been able to shift his game plan during the season as a result of injury.

“They have faced some challenges this year, then they got themselves back on track and James Sicily was a mainstay in defence,” he told SEN Breakfast.

“They lose him and then he manipulates the situation. I think they’re playing probably a more defensive game than they’ve played in a long time.

“Because he says: ‘ok, we have to do that now to win’. But it’s his and his coaching staff’s ability to be able to teach that to their players mid-season and to swing it all round again.

“I think it’s one of the great coaching feats of the year. They find a way.”

Melbourne champion Garry Lyon agreed, saying “he’s the best coach of the last 50 years.”

Clarkson appears to have his side bound for the top four again this season, the Hawks face St. Kilda on Saturday night.