We've slipped a bit: Hird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We've slipped a bit: Hird

Robert Grant 07/04/2011 02:54:55 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach James Hird wants Essendon to jump straight back onto the front foot against St Kilda on Sunday.

After advancing all the way to the pre-season grand final and belting the Western Bulldogs in round one, the Bombers were deflated by last week's narrow loss to Sydney.

Hird said he thought the side had gone backwards a little between rounds one and two.

He has spent the last few days hammering home the point that the Bombers need to be more pro-active.

"Every week you don't hunt your opposition, you're in trouble," Hird said on Thursday.

"Maybe last week we waited for Sydney a little bit, so we'll be on the front foot as well.

"It wasn't much fun losing a game and we have to tighten up some areas where we didn't perform that well against Sydney.

"We thought against the Western Bulldogs we played very well in some areas, but against Sydney, we let ourselves down in those areas we played well in so we've gone back a bit."

While St Kilda were grand finalists in 2009 and 2010, Essendon have won the last three games between the two sides.

"But we're a different side now, and they're a different side, so I don't think you can afford to look at past performances," Hird said.

"St Kilda play very hard normally but they've been stung a little bit by the first two weeks (a loss and a draw).

"Losing an inspirational guy like Lenny Hayes and then Nick Riewoldt's 200th game, it all culminates in a big game for them."

Hird said the Bombers would be buoyed by their their two pre-season clashes with the Saints which resulted in a draw followed by a 39-point win in the semi-final.

Ruckman David Hille, a late withdrawal from the Bombers' side last week, will sit out this weekend's clash as well.

"He's got a little thing in his hip that's not that serious," Hird said.

"We thought it was a knock after the Western Bulldogs game and it's just shown up as a slight strain of a little muscle in his hip.

"We're hoping he'll be back by the Carlton game (in round four)."

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