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Bombers coach comfortable with criticism

30/03/2010 08:42:36 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights has welcomed criticism of the Bombers' AFL first-round loss to Geelong - saying it means the Bombers are now expected to win high-profile games.

The Bombers broke away from the Cats twice early in the game before a late fadeout saw them lose by 31 points.

"It's great, I think it's good the expectations are going up on this group, that we've been critiqued really hard against the reigning premiers," Knights said on Tuesday.

"I think it's good the expectations are going up on this group.

"So there's an expectation that we should win those games now.

"We take it as a compliment. For two-and-a-half quarters we had the balance right, I thought, and we were really diligent both when we had the ball and when they had it.

"I was really proud of that but the last quarter-and-a-half we just weren't strong enough to keep it up."

Knights' main criticism was that Essendon were unable to capitalise on the chances they created in the final term and faded when the Cats applied late pressure.

"Geelong, with the talent they have, once they get on top, they really punish you - they punished the opportunities which we didn't take also," Knights said.

"It's having the mindset to absorb the pressure and take those opportunities and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

"Also defensively, we weren't as sound as we were in the first two-and-a-half quarters.

"We can try and trick ourselves and come up with unique things that are out of left field but the reality is we just let ourselves down and didn't cover off on the areas we were good at in the first two-and-a-half quarters."

Knights also said that Essendon were intent on continuing their aggressive game plan.

"Reasonably fast football is sustainable," he said. "I don't think you're going to win a premiership by just playing slow, economic football."

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