Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines believes Ken Hinkley remains the right man to coach Port Adelaide, saying the player group have full faith in the veteran mentor.
Hinkley is contracted for next year, but some fans are calling for his dismissal following the club’s struggles this season.
11th-placed Port Adelaide (8-10) need to win their remaining four games plus rely on other results to fall their way in order to snare a finals berth.
The Power were rated a legitimate premiership threat heading into this season, but last year’s preliminary finalists blew their chance with a 0-5 start to the campaign.
Wines will notch his 200-game milestone in Saturday’s must-win clash with Collingwood at the MCG.
The 27-year-old has spent his entire AFL career under Hinkley, and he wants the 55-year-old to continue on.
“In terms of the playing group, we’ve got full faith in Ken, all the coaches and everyone at the club,” Wines told reporters on Tuesday.
“The belief in our group has never faltered throughout the year, despite when we were 0-5.
“At this stage it hasn’t panned out fully to what we expected but our belief in Ken and everyone at the footy club is still there.”
A large sheet with the words “Sack Hinkley” was plastered over the Power’s roadside sign on Port Road near Alberton on Monday.
Wines said he understood the emotion of supporters and their want to express their opinion.
Although Port’s flag hopes for this year appear shot, Wines is desperate to taste premiership success before his career finishes – but not for selfish reasons.
“It is for Robbie Gray, Tom Jonas, Travis Boak … the guys who have been at this club for so many years and have stuck by Port Adelaide and stuck true,” Wines told the Power website.
“I want to get one for them. I want to see those guys be able to stand up to receive a premiership medal.
“They have set the standard. They have got this club going in the right direction. That is what they deserve.”
Wines said he was proud to share his milestone day with Jonas, who will also notch game No.200.
The Power will be without Dan Houston (concussion) against the Magpies, but Lachie Jones is a chance to return from a hamstring injury.
Ruckman Scott Lycett remains sidelined with an infected shoulder.