Ken Hinkley accepts that his Port Adelaide Power side have to improve in a key area of the game if they are to enjoy a strong AFL season.
Head coach Hinkley was speaking after seeing his team suffer a 6.19 (55)-11.10 (76) defeat in their pre-season meeting with Gold Coast Suns - with Power 6/5 to secure a top-four finish this season.
Next up is an AAMI Community Series clash with Adelaide Crows, before Port open up their season proper against Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday 19th March.
And Hinkley is aware that his players need to be stronger in the contest area of play, otherwise they will fine life hard in the coming months.
He told reporters: "We didn't win enough of those contests (against Gold Coast); we had our opportunities, we had plenty of possession of the football, but we did not move the ball the way we'd like to or handle the ball as cleanly as we would like."
"We have trained really well for those things. It is not as if we have not had good preparation going in, but we did not execute.
"(Winning contested ball is the test) for 18 teams in the competition. It is very relevant for 18 teams - if you don't do any well at the contest, you are in trouble.
"And yes, we are one of those teams - and we are definitely working really hard in improving our method in and around and away from contest."