Slumping Bombers lack run, admits Hird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slumping Bombers lack run, admits Hird

Sam Lienert 25/06/2011 10:26:55 AM Comments (0)

Essendon coach James Hird admits the Bombers' lack of running power is a concern after enduring his most disappointing night as an AFL coach so far.

Essendon were thrashed 23.8 (146) to 12.9 (81) by Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night, including an incredibly one-sided eight goals to one second term.

The Bombers also expect to lose midfielder Sam Lonergan for the season with a torn medial ligament and captain Jobe Watson and David Myers for three games each with hamstring injuries.

It was their fifth consecutive loss, ensuring they will end the round out of the top eight.

But Hird said the poor performance and injuries, the Bombers had no choice but to keep working and rebound as strongly as they could against unbeaten Geelong next round.

"We're a work in progress across our whole football club," Hird said.

"We need to reinvent our football club, from a football point of view, from the head to the tail ... we're going to have some disappointments and tonight's as disappointing as we've had along the journey."

Hird said a lack of run was a worrying feature of the losing streak.

"We certainly lacked running ability compared to Hawthorn, there's no doubt Hawthorn out-ran us for the whole game," he said.

"It's a bit of a trend for the past four weeks, there's no doubt our running capability isn't at the (level of the) teams we've played and that is a concern."

He said even earlier in the season, when they were notching wins, they had to camouflage their lack of running strength.

"We just need to keep working with our players, we just need to keep working to give them the ability to do that and that's what we'll do over the course of this year and next year," he said.

He defended out-of-form big man Paddy Ryder, who looked drained of confidence and received bronx cheers from supporters.

"I'm not sure why Paddy Ryder seems to be the (new whipping boy). It was Brent Stanton six weeks ago and it's Paddy Rydernow ... you can't blame one player for a performance like that."

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