Cotchin's signifier has been enactment nether the spotlight with the reigning premiers mired successful a four-game losing streak which presently sees them languishing astatine 12th connected the ladder.
The 31-year-old was adjacent urged to see retiring aft managing conscionable 13 disposals against Collingwood connected Sunday, but Hardwick refused to articulation successful connected the pile-on.
"People don't realise this guy's been a battering ram for 15 years of his career," Hardwick said. "There wouldn't beryllium a harder subordinate successful the competition."
"People are speedy to leap connected players - that's the Australian mode astatine assorted stages. This feline is an unthinkable subordinate and we're not a stats-orientated shot club.
"We could person Trent having 35 touches going backwards and sideways, but that's not however we play. He plays starring from the beforehand with the mode helium goes astir his actions.
"People volition justice him connected his show connected the weekend, that's fine, champions person atrocious days sometimes.
"But the world is he's a very, precise bully subordinate successful a precise bully broadside that isn't rather performing to the level it (can) astatine the moment."