Faith shown in hapless Hawks

Whether it is a show of faith from the coach or a sign the cupboard is bare, Hawthorn have resisted the urge to make wholesale change for Sunday's clash against West Coast at the MCG.

Speaking after his side's second consecutive 86-point defeat - Monday's drubbing at the hands of Geelong - Alastair Clarkson said he still believed his winless side could turn its season around. That confidence was again shown on Friday when the Hawks announced just one change for their clash with the Eagles, dropping Ricky Henderson for youngster Daniel Howe. Maligned big man Ty Vickery was named as an emergency after missing the loss to the Cats with back soreness.

Jaeger O'Meara had been expected to return after missing one match with knee soreness, but Hawthorn again left him out of their squad on Thursday night. However Hawks veteran Shaun Burgoyne insisted on Friday that it was not time to panic about O'Meara's fitness, notwithstanding his history of knee problems.

"It's a totally separate issue to what he's had in the past. I think it was a fresh knock that he's received which is a good thing," Burgoyne told the AFL website.

"He's not quite right so they'll take the cautious approach with him, which I think is a great thing to do. When he's right, they'll bring him back in."

The Eagles have made just one change, recalling Jack Darling to replace Sam Mitchell after the former Hawk was on Thursday ruled out the clash with his former club because of an ankle complaint.

Meanwhile St Kilda have dropped forward Jack Lonie for Sunday's game against the Cats. Lonie joins the rested Tom Hickey and David Armitage (groin) on the sidelines. Armitage is facing a lengthy stint out of the side because of his injury. Darren Minchington has been recalled to replace Lonie, with Billy Longer called up to relieve Hickey, and Jack Steven returning after puncturing a lung in round two.

The unbeaten Cats have recalled round two hero George Horlin-Smith and Darcy Lang, while former North Melbourne forward Aaron Black has also been included for what looms as his first game with his new club. Geelong have dropped Tom Ruggles, with James Parsons and Sam Menegola both unavailable through suspension.

This story Faith shown in hapless Hawks first appeared on Brisbane Times.