ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Ken Hinkley, Senior Coach of the Power during the 2023 AFL Round 01 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Brisbane Lions at Adelaide Oval on March 18, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

While full of pride at his side's fighting spirit, Port Adelaide head coach Ken Hinkley has poured cold water on claims that his side should be rated as an out-and-out premiership contender.

Entering Friday night's highly-anticipated clash, Port (Yartapuulti) kicked off Sir Doug Nicholls Round in style, starting hot and finishing strong against Melbourne (Narrm) to claim the four points by four points.

The slog in the Adelaide rain saw the Power surge to second on the ladder, with the win acting as the club's seventh in a row.

Since dropping their bundle late against Adelaide in the Round 3 Showdown in April, the Alberton crowd has been on a tear, threading wins against peripheral contenders in the Dogs, Saints and Bombers.

However, after holding the Demons off after Simon Goodwin's legion charged hard in the third term, the question of whether Hinkley saw his side as a flag fancy was put to him post-game.

While buyoed, Hinkley remained content to let the results speak for themselves, stressing that compiling lists of the league's contenders and pretenders was outside of his paygrade.

"It's not up to me," he offered.

"We're doing as much as you can do to be a part of the competition, bravely winning games that you have to win.

"I'm on record as saying regularly, it doesn't matter what's going on at Round 10, it's what happens when you get to the end and where you position yourself. Every win is going to be critically important for us. We're just going to try and win as many games as we can (and) see where it takes us."

In his 10 full seasons spent at Port's helm, Hinkley has seen hot streaks start and fizzle, with his side either falling short of September or in it, with the Power failing to win a knockout final since 2014.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01:Tom Jonas and Travis Boak of Port Adelaide dejiected after losing the round three AFL match between Port Adelaide Power and Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval, on April 01, 2023, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Still ensconced in May, the veteran steward professed that the rest of Port Adelaide's results would paint a clear picture of where they stood ahead of the finals.

"The ladder is a great indicator, at the end of the year, of what you deserve. That's just what happens. One, two, three, four, five, six. Wherever you end, it's pretty accurate," Hinkley professed.

A disappointing 10-12 record saw Port miss out on a place in the eight last season, a fact that saw fingers pointed at Alberton and the heat rise under Hinkley's seat.

But rather than shy away from criticism, tweaks were made during the off-season, as a busy trade period and the drawing of touted assistant Josh Carr back to Alberton have already paid dividends.

"As a footy club, we needed to answer those questions. We had to answer those questions," Hinkley added.

"We were really confident that we would be better this year because of a few things, and so far we have been able to be better, but I'm going to be cautious, it's Round 10. I'm not going to get too excited. We've got a long way to go."

Port Adelaide will enjoy a nine-day rest before travelling to face the Tigers at the MCG next Sunday afternoon.

The extended break should allow ex-captain Travis Boak ample time to rehab a rib complaint that saw him subbed out of the victory before three-quarter time.