Though on paper the Club's start to the season hasn't been ideal, Tom Cutler says internally the players are driven by improvement.

Cutler said that despite the 0-8 start, the players are more focused on improving both individually and as a team.

“If you took someone from outside our Club and brought them inside they wouldn’t know we’re 0-8,” he told RadioTAB on Thursday morning.

“Our Club is incredibly upbeat and vibrant, we don’t get downtrodden about being 0-8.

“What’s important is that we improve.”

Cutler said it was frustrating to lose a few close games early on, but if the players continue the strong effort to improve, the wins will eventually come.

“We’re desperate to win, we’re competitors but we’re in the business of improving as players and as a Club which we’ve done this season,” he said.  

The Lions will be looking to perform strongly again when they take on the Hawks at home on Sunday.

The match will be the first time Luke Hodge faces his old side but despite the occasion, Cutler said Hodge will ensure the team doesn’t get caught up in the fanfare.

“He’s not the kind of person that would make it about him,” he said.

“It’s another game of football at the end of the day and that’ll be the way we attack it like he attacks every game. He’s an inspirational competitor and he wants to win desperately.”

One thing Hodge has brought to the table in 2018 is his experience playing for a premiership winning club and understanding what it takes to be a successful side.

“When we come together as a unit, we talk about key indicators, we're looking at things the really good teams historically have been good at and what they’re doing right now,” said Cutler.  

“Contested ball has been a focus of our team this season and pressure as well as our ability to use the ball and convert when we go inside 50.

“Defence is a massive one for us this season as the scores we’ve been conceding in the past haven’t been to standard but this year that’s improved significantly.”

One debutant who’s been injected into the Lions defence this season is Matt Eagles.

“What a story, he’s 28 and only now making his AFL debut,” Cutler said.  

“Matt is an outstanding athlete and great competitor.

“Our boys couldn’t be prouder of Matt and the way he’s improved as a player.”