Hawks 'have to hang in there'

Hawks coach Gordie McLeod. Picture: ADAM McLEAN
Hawks coach Gordie McLeod. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

They haven't gone all the way back to square one, but the injury-hit Wollongong Hawks are set to undergo major adjustments on the training court in an attempt to save their season.

Wollongong slumped to their seventh straight loss on Saturday and face a daunting road double this weekend against Adelaide and Perth.

Front-court linchpin Glen Saville won't be making the trip after injuring his knee in the opening quarter of his team's 91-74 loss to New Zealand on Australia Day.

Tipped to retire at the end of the season, the 563-game forward is to undergo scans today and is hoping he hasn't played his last game.

Coach Gordie McLeod will move Dan Jackson or Tim Coenraad into the starting five to cover Saville's absence.

On the plus side, Tyson Demos got through Saturday's loss without aggravating a knee injury, while new signing Malcolm Grant has a solid debut under his belt.

McLeod said his team had a lot of work to do to keep fourth spot.

"We now have to find where we go as a team and that's where the coaching staff has to look at things," he said.

"We have to get our bigs more involved in the game and establish some sort of inside game.

"The other thing we have to do now is find a way that we're going to play with the rest of the group.

"What is the best way for us to play? Because the whole team dynamic has changed now. We have to look at Malcolm and get the best out of him and get our bigs more touches [of the ball].

"Tyson's going to have to play more minutes, same with Coenraad if his foot will let him go and same with Jacko [Daniel Jackson] if his calf will let him go.

"We have to hang in there. I know a lot of people just keep talking about our losses and this and that, but for me personally we've competed in every game we've played in. As a coach, that's all you can ask of your players - play hard, play together and do the best you can do."

Saville has become Wollongong's seventh player to miss games through injury this season.

"I don't know what the reason is because our [work]load is probably less than what other teams do, so we just have to look at all avenues of what's going on," McLeod said of the heavy injury toll.

"It's obviously very disappointing and disheartening for a lot of people, but it's also reality, so we have to go and find a way to compete."


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