Knights' lash not at me: Hird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights' lash not at me: Hird

26/07/2010 09:41:00 PM Comments (0)

Former Essendon captain James Hird says Bombers coach Matthew Knights was not targeting him when he lashed out at the AFL club's critics on Saturday night.

Knights used his post-match press conference after the Bombers broke a six-match losing streak with a three-point win over North Melbourne to take a shot at those who had criticised the club.

The embattled Essendon coach said the horror run of losses had enabled him to learn who was "going to stand with us".

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

Hird was among the critics after the Bombers' shock loss to West Coast the previous round, saying all involved at Essendon needed "a big mirror to look in" and had to decide what the club stood for.

But the former skipper said on Monday night he had received a message from Knights earlier in the day to assure him the coach had not taken aim at him.

"Matthew texted me today and said thanks for your support and your honesty over where the club's at," Hird told Foxtel's On The Couch program.

"But he actually said in the text message it wasn't directed at any ex-players."

That still leaves open the possibility that Knights' comment was directed at least partly at his predecessor Kevin Sheedy.

The four-time Bombers premiership coach, now in charge of fledgling expansion club Greater Western Sydney, earned the ire of the AFL Coaches' Association for negative comments about what he said was a lack of progress at Essendon since Knights took over.

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