If Hawthorn's opposition analysis is on the money, gun GIANTS defender Nick Haynes will find himself with a minder in Canberra on Friday night. 

Haynes has put together another outstanding season across half-back for the GIANTS and must be in contention for the 2019 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian 40-man squad.

The Hawks have played a defensive forward on him before and nullifying Haynes must be part of their plan again this week.

Veteran Jack Gunston or Conor Nash loom as potential stoppers for Haynes.

The 27-year-old has been a key player in the GIANTS' winning run that has revitalised their season, taking 29 marks in the past three matches against Collingwood, Port Adelaide and Sydney.

With a fantastic ability to read the play and the confidence to fly for his grabs playing as a loose man in defence, Haynes is crucial to his team's chances of making it a fourth-straight victory against the Hawks. 

The quietly-spoken foundation GIANT told AFL.com.au that his teammates deserve the credit for his recent touch.

"It's what happens around you that impacts how you play," he said.

"Obviously our team defence helps the way we structure up and if there's no pressure on the ball carrier, my role is irrelevant.

"A lot of credit goes to the midfielders for doing that and also to my fellow backs for protesting me in the air.

"When everyone is up and about and playing their roles, then players can perform."

Haynes, co-captain Phil Davis and veteran Heath Shaw have been the core of the GIANTS' defensive set-up in recent weeks, and their familiarity has been important, especially in tight games against the Power and the Swans.

The GIANTS beat the Power by a solitary point, with Haynes and Davis cutting off numerous Port attacks in the final term, and they did it again in a two-point victory against Sydney last week.

He said the strong bond between the GIANTS defenders is crucial to his high-flying feats in the back half. 

"Over the years you build a lot of trust in your fellow defenders and I've played a lot of footy with guys like Phil and Heath," he said.

"Trust is the No.1 thing, and then the second thing is backing yourself in.

"If you've got any doubt when you're going up then you're probably going to drop it." 

Things looked dire for the GIANTS heading into round 18 against the Magpies after they'd lost four of their past five games, and had players like Davis, Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward and Matt de Boer on the sidelines with injury.

However, Haynes said the way the young side has responded has been exciting, and they're now back in contention for an all-important top-four spot. 

"Our whole leadership has been out for some games, so it's been a huge effort," he said.

"I'm most proud of our young boys for stepping up in big moments and that builds great confidence around the club leading into the finals. 

"To get two of the three wins by under a goal has been really pleasing."