Bombers looking to shut out Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers looking to shut out Bulldogs

By Robert Grant 16/07/2009 03:21:36 PM Comments (0)

Free-running Essendon are confident of a 30 per cent defensive improvement in the remaining games as they close in on a first AFL finals campaign since 2004.

"It can be achieved, there's no doubt about that," assistant coach Gary O'Donnell said on Thursday.

The Bombers can take another giant stride towards booking a finals berth in Friday night's clash against the third-placed Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

"It's the team that actually improves the best in all areas from now till grand final day wins the premiership probably," O'Donnell said.

"It's not just maintaining your form - even the top teams have to keep improving and I'm sure they will."

The Etihad Stadium encounter has been touted as a shootout, with Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade suggesting 50 goals could be scored during the match.

But O'Donnell stressed the Bombers would not be ignoring their defensive responsibilities.

"Defence is all about your technique and then your intent," he said.

"In young developing groups the intent can perhaps be at different levels from week to week and that's where you get your improvement at a consistent level every week.

"We're about midfield as far as defence goes - for us to make finals I suppose it's got to improve another 20 or 30 per cent for the next seven games and we're aiming to do that."

O'Donnell said the boost needed to come from the entire group to be effective.

"It's a whole team approach, definitely. The attitude of your forwards and your midfielders as well as your defenders helps," he said.

"The top sides at the moment - St Kilda and Adelaide and Geelong and Collingwood are very good at it and their whole team's very good at it."

The Bulldogs went down by one point to Collingwood last week but coach Rodney Eade said the players were over their disappointment and keen to hit back.

"Both teams will take the game on. Both teams have some very talented players and both teams rely on quick ball movement, so I think we'll see a lot of that," Eade said.

The Bombers plan to ramp up their defence for a match which will be a crucial indicator of their relevance in September.

"We're looking at having the defensive side of our game at a standard that's going to be able to stop them from scoring a high score as well," O'Donnell said.

"She's a nice, quick deck at Etihad Stadium so the ball travels from one end of the ground pretty quickly and both teams have got a fairly potent goal attacking force.

"You'd expect plenty of goals but the team that is able to lock the other team down for long enough will win the game I reckon.

"Last year we were known as a team that scored pretty freely for where we finished on the ladder and probably didn't have our defence right.

"This year we've still got a long way to go but it has been an improvement on last year."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news