Clarkson has grown frustrated with the limit of 80 interchanges to be made in matches throughout the NAB Cup and spoke out following the Hawks' one-point loss to the Western Bulldogs on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.
Clarkson has found it difficult to get the rotations of his players right during the NAB Cup due to the limit and especially when he had David Hale (ankle) and Luke Breust (shin) come off with niggling injuries on Friday night.
Clearly he would rather the cap be done away with altogether, but if the AFL wants to stick with it he would prefer to see a more realistic number like 120 used.
"It's just all about trying to manage all your players and their game time at this time of the year, and whenever there is any sort of knock or anything like that you usually take them out of the game as a precaution where in the home and away they probably keep going," Clarkson said.
"It's a difficult one because you are just finding that you aren’t so much coaching, you are counting how many times players are coming off the ground. Just take it back to having reserves and playing 18 men on the ground if that's really want to do, but this makes it pretty difficult.
"It's a pretty dramatic change to go to 80 as well and no one really knows what is going to happen to the game. Hopefully commonsense will prevail and if they want to introduce a cap then they cap it at a sensible cap rate of something like 120. Then we can see what a minor cap on interchange does to the game rather than take it to 80.
"There's not a person in the land who knows what is going to the game when that happens and I think it's an enormous risk to take with a pretty good game that we have at the moment just on a hunch of putting a cap on 80 to see what happens to the game. I hope it's good, but what happens if it's no good. We'll see where it goes."
Despite the opening week losses to Brisbane and Gold Coast, and now a loss to the Western Bulldogs, Clarkson is far from ready to panic about his team's form leading into the AFL season-opener against Geelong.
"We are two weeks into a NAB campaign and it's not about wins and losses, it's about game time and trying to get some of y our structures and processes right. We were just really poor around the footy and gave the Dogs too much easy supply from that area of the ground," he said.
"It just made it really difficult when you lose the stoppages like that predominantly the game is played more in their end than ours.
"We had a forward-line that was pretty dangerous when we got it in their quickly, but we just couldn’t win enough ball from those stoppage situations to get the ball in there quick enough to hurt the opposition. You get what you deserve in this game and we didn’t deserve to win."
Clarkson does look forward to welcoming back the likes of Grant Birchall, Shaun Burgoyne, Luke Hodge, Cyril Rioli, Paul Puopolo and Liam Shiels in the coming weeks.
"We just have to work out over the next few weeks with Birchall, Burgoyne, Hodge, Rioli, Puopolo, Shiels and a number of players who will all come back over the next week or two," Clarkson said.
"There's a fair few players who we will integrate back into our mix but we will just work out how they train and how much game time we can get into those guys prior to the first game of the season."