Bombers' win only first step: Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers' win only first step: Knights

By Sam Lienert 25/07/2010 01:54:34 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights says his side has taken only a small step towards regaining lost respect with their hard-fought AFL win over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The Bombers scraped home 18.14 (122) to 18.11 (119) to break a six-match losing streak.

But while proud of his players' efforts, Knights acknowledged they were helped by the pre-game withdrawal of North midfielder Daniel Wells and still only just came through.

"The reality is the game could have gone either way in the end, we're realists also that we got one early in the game with Daniel not fronting up and injuring himself and also the margin was very skinny," Knights said.

He said Friday night fixtures with top eight sides St Kilda, Carlton and Collingwood over the next three rounds would provide a chance for greater redemption.

"The last three weeks have really hurt everyone and our supporters who have watched have no doubt been really disappointed and so they should have been, the way we played," he said.

"I think we've gone a small way (against the Kangaroos) with winning a little bit (of respect) back, but the next three weeks is really important for us.

"We've got St Kilda, Carlton, Collingwood, so (Saturday night's win) should be wonderful impetus to go into those games."

Knights said the Saints' draw with Hawthorn on Friday night was one of the games of the season and captain Nick Riewoldt was steadily regaining top form.

"We've got to look into that but it should be some impetus to at least get us into the contest," he said.

He said a positive of the Bombers' recent slump was that the club gained an understanding of "who's with us and beside us".

He said it also showed "who sat on the other side of the line, who was happy to ping us and who was happy to have a crack at us."

"People have declared their hand in the last three weeks, which is something very refreshing," he said.

Knights stressed those within the club were all "in it for the long haul" but said others "externally" had shown they were not, seemingly a reference to criticisms from his predecessor Kevin Sheedy, among others.

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