HE was expected merely be one of those role players Hawks coach Rob Beveridge has made a career out of fashioning but the Hawks recent wobbles against Sydney and Melbourne have served to highlight the importance of injured guard Mitch Norton.
The Hawks were in command of last week’s clash with Sydney before Norton hobbled off with Jason Cadee and Kevin Lisch having a field day in his absence. Todd Blanchfield did most of the damage for United on Sunday but the Hawks also struggled to contain the back-court of Chris Goulding (16 points) and Cedric Jackson (14 points).
Beveridge is hopeful Norton will be back for Friday’s clash with Perth.
“I’m pretty confident he’ll be back this week against Perth,” Beveridge said.
“If [Melbourne] was a grand final he’d of played but I wasn’t going to risk somebody as important as he is. Defensively he’s as good as you get in the league as a guard.
“I think he would’ve done a really good job on Jackson or Goulding so we missed him immensely.”