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Mark Williams no certainty for Bombers

By John Salvado 11/05/2010 04:48:21 PM Comments (0)

Star off-season recruit Mark Williams is no certainty to break back into the Essendon line-up for Sunday's clash with St Kilda.

The 27-year-old premiership forward has made a slow start to life at his second club since the off-season move from Hawthorn, booting only five goals in four games.

He has also been hampered by an ankle injury, before showing some good signs with a four-goal haul for Essendon's VFL affiliate Bendigo last weekend.

But even that might not be enough to earn Williams a recall for Sunday's Etihad Stadium clash against a Saints side smarting from Monday night's shock 61-point drubbing at the hands of Carlton.

"Mark played quite well (for Bendigo), he kicked four goals and did a lot more work in the way he covered the ground," Essendon coach Matthew Knights said on Tuesday.

"However it's a challenge because young (David) Zaharakis and (Angus) Monfries in those medium-type roles have been playing good football.

"They both contributed really well last week against Port Adelaide and (Sam) Lonergan and (Alwyn) Davey were strong as well.

"It's just a matter of whether we can fit Mark back into the lineup.

"When that time comes I'd just urge him to be ready to take his opportunity."

The Bombers will need to make at least one change to the side which lost by three points at home to Port Adelaide last weekend, with small defender Henry Slattery set to miss 3-4 weeks with a rib complaint.

Having watched the slick Blues run the Saints off their feet on Monday night, Essendon could be tempted to offer a recall to Leroy Jetta.

"Carlton had a lot of speed, but they worked really hard as well," said Knights.

"It wasn't that they just stood around and used their pace every now and again.

"Some of their pace was over 80 or 90 metres so credit to those guys who did that."

It was St Kilda's biggest loss in four years in a performance Knights saw as an "aberration".

"Carlton were fantastic and St Kilda didn't hit their straps," he said.

"But they've been great all season the Saints, they've played some great football so we're expecting a really tough St Kilda outfit to come to the table on Sunday."

St Kilda's second loss of the season saw them drop to fifth place on the ladder, while the Bombers are 12th with a 2-5 win-loss record.

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