Lloyd has licence to roam for Bombers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lloyd has licence to roam for Bombers

By Leonard Siragusa 19/06/2008 05:59:01 PM Comments (0)

The days when Matthew Lloyd was the centrepiece of the Bombers' attack are all but gone with Essendon coach Matthew Knights committed to using his captain more as a roving forward.

Lloyd snapped a lean spell with a much-improved performance in last week's win over West Coast, roaming far and wide to accumulate 21 touches, nine marks and two goals.

Knights said he was proud of the way the three-time Coleman medallist had embraced the new role.

"I had a discussion with Matthew last week and it was a one-on-one and we both agreed it would be a great opportunity to get him up the ground as captain, to be involved in the game, live in the moment because sometimes as a forward being deep you just have to wait for periods of time," Knights said.

"It's fair to say that is a philosophy that we'll go after aggressively for the rest of the year.

"At times he might play deep forward during a game or he might start deep forward - there's no rhyme or reason, it depends very much on who we play.

"But the very good sides have got a lot of scoring options so we want to develop Jay Neagle, Scott Lucas, Adam McPhee and Lloyd and we were planning to do with Scott Gumbleton (before he was injured)."

Knights acknowledged he was concerned with the possible headaches Carlton could provide for the Bombers at the other end of the ground on Sunday at the MCG.

Blues spearhead Brendan Fevola kicked 8.4 against Essendon in round three and will come into the game off the back of another eight-goal haul against Collingwood.

"He's had 14 shots on goal last week that's a pretty good output in a 100 minute game - so he's in hot form," Knights said.

"Obviously, he's really a big part of the way we're planning but they've got a midfield that's providing great inside 50 work and they're getting a lot of opportunities into him."

The Bombers and Blues combined for 44 goals in round three but Knights was unsure if the re-match on Sunday would be another shootout.

What was more important for the Essendon coach was his players matching the intensity of the Blues who are coming off an impressive win over Collingwood.

Despite a disappointing first half to the season, Knights revealed morale had not been hit and said the young playing group were united with the club's vision for the future.

"I must complement this group for the spirit of the six or last eight weeks," he said.

"The spirit and the energy and the way they present themselves to training has just been just fantastic."

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