Bombers' coach has big words for critics - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers' coach has big words for critics

By Daniel Brettig 31/05/2008 02:02:40 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights had strong words for his critics and stirring ones for his own players after watching the Bombers run Adelaide desperately close at AAMI Stadium.

Over the past weeks, Essendon have become the subject of widespread ridicule for a run of defeats and Knights appeared to reach breaking point with a pair of unbridled sprays on his team during the quarter and halftime breaks of last week's loss to Richmond.

But having watched those same players fall short, 9.20 (74) to 10.9 (69) in a packed AAMI Stadium, Knights said he could now see a brighter future than any of the clubs critics might care to admit.

"I won't be wavered, won't concern myself with what's said and written, I'm concerned with developing the list and I'm here for the players," he said.

"They're young men but you've got to be steely in this game, and maybe what they've been through in the last four to six weeks will be the making of some of these young men, because I saw Bachar Houli come out the other side tonight, and David Myers, Kyle Reimers and Angus Monfries come out the other side.

"Don't feel sorry for us, we don't feel sorry for ourselves at this club, we've got a vision at this club, it's about attacking that vision and keep pushing towards it, and no matter what barbs are thrown, no matter what bombs are thrown, you stay strong."

Following a run of games where the Bombers have habitually found themselves four or five goals down before quarter-time, Knights was delighted to see his men nab the first three goals after an opening arm wrestle of stoppages and packs that let Adelaide know they were in the contest.

"We achieved something in those first five minutes that meant we were going to be in this game for a long period," Knights said.

"Because we came with intensity tonight and come with courage, at quarter time they look at the scoreboard a young team and they're around the action, and that breeds a lot of self-belief."

Though Adelaide steadied and won the majority of the ball for the rest of the night, their poor kicking for goal gave a fair indication of the amount of pressure they felt from Essendon.

There were other signs too of a Bombers side taking the game's defensive side more seriously than they have for some time.

Angus Monfries typified this with a shutdown job on creative halfback Andrew McLeod so tight that McLeod was frustrated into giving up a 50 metre penalty, something boundary line commentator and long-time former teammate Mark Ricciuto could not remember happening before.

"Angus's role was to play on McLeod and hold as a forward, and when the ball went in the area with Monfries and McLeod I felt confident from minute one that I'd get a good contest because he's a competitor, he's playing in his home state, and we've got a lot of faith in him," Knights said.

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