Houli not under pressure: Essendon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Houli not under pressure: Essendon

By Robert Grant 23/07/2010 02:04:48 PM Comments (0)

Essendon have insisted that forgotten midfielder Bachar Houli will not be playing for his future when he finally returns to AFL action against North Melbourne on Saturday night.

Houli, 22, has been stranded in the reserves with just two senior games to his credit this season as the Bombers have struggled to arrest a run of six straight losses.

Essendon assistant coach Scott Camporeale says Houli was recalled for the clash with North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium simply because he had done the work required of him in the VFL.

"I'm not sure whether he's playing for his future but he certainly deserves the opportunity," Camporeale said on Friday.

"He's done the hard yards. He's gone back and he's worked on the things that we've asked him to do and hence he gets his opportunity.

"He's been one of the best players the past five or six weeks and he deserves his spot.

"We're really looking forward to Bachar having a real influence on the game, no doubt.

"If he plays well he keeps his spot like the rest of the 47 guys who are on the list.

"If you play well consistently you're going to get picked. We've got really good competition for spots so that an important thing for the club going forward."

Essendon have come under extreme external pressure after beating top sides St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs then slumping to six straight losses, including the past two to Melbourne and bottom side West Coast.

But Camporeale says the club remains unaffected by the criticism.

"The morale has been really good," he said. "Our group and the coaching staff haven't really worried about the press and the negative stuff that has been going around.

"We were just focused on developing the players during the week and going after what we what we want to go after.

"We haven't used the press or other people's opinions to motivate us."

Despite lying 12th on the ladder, the Bombers are still holding onto a slender hope of qualifying for the finals.

"We're worrying about the next six games and winning those six games," Camporeale said.

"That's going to be the biggest factor going in - obviously if we can make finals we've got to win six straight.

"And if not it's going to give us a good leg up and good confidence going into next year.'

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