We're ready for Cousins: Bombers coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We're ready for Cousins: Bombers coach

By Robert Grant 21/07/2009 04:17:07 PM Comments (0)

Essendon are planning for the return of dynamic Richmond midfielder Ben Cousins for the AFL clash at the MCG on Sunday.

Bombers coach Matthew Knights says it will be a danger game for his side, with Cousins adding extra menace.

Knights believes both Cousins and fellow onballer Trent Cotchin, who were late withdrawals for last weekend's draw with North Melbourne due to a virus, will return to the Tigers side.

He said the Bombers needed to be wary of Richmond following their performance against the Kangaroos up to halftime.

"They were quite brilliant in the first half," Knights said.

"They scored 11 goals and they got plenty of run out of defence and linked up really well on the big MCG ground.

"In the first half, they looked like a very good side, and with potentially Cousins and (Nathan) Foley and Cotchin to come into that line up, you would think they'd only be strengthened."

Knights says Cousins has flown under the radar at Richmond this season after the fanfare of his arrival.

"He was in pretty good nick before he went out. He seems to have snuck under people's guard because he came with a lot of hype early and then got injured.

But I think his form has gathered momentum over the last four to six weeks ... he's a very dangerous player, he runs as hard as anyone in the game and I think he always will until the day he finishes.

"We think he'll play, so we've got him in the Richmond selected line-up as of this morning so we're expecting Ben and Cotchin to come in - not sure about Foley at this stage."

Essendon are preparing to welcome back forward Angus Monfries after his recovery from a hamstring injury.

"Angus at this stage would seem right to go," Knights said.

"All the medical information coming through is that he'll be fine.

"I think our medical staff are very diligent, so if they're saying to me pretty early in the week they consider him a very strong chance I would have thought he's nearly over the line.

"It will be great to have him back in the team because he's been a really solid player."

Knights has also placed his faith in midfield star Mark McVeigh after his return from a demotion to the VFL due to an off-field indiscretion.

"I thought in his (round 15) game against Sydney he defended really well. I think last week he was a little bit quieter.

"We're expecting Mark, probably over the next few weeks to come back into our midfield now that he's had a couple of games back again.

"I think he's a really important player for us to get going in the midfield because he played some dynamic football there last year," Knights said.

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