We must make Bombers better: Hird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We must make Bombers better: Hird

Guy Hand 14/08/2011 02:32:20 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach James Hird remains more concerned about his club's big picture rather than the snapshot of happiness that AFL finals this year will bring.

The Bombers look bound for finals in Hird's first season in charge, and are likely to need just one more win to secure a top eight berth after their 49-point beating of the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

But Hird remains adamant his side must focus on performances rather than results as he looks beyond his team's efforts this year to bed down a side for the ages.

"We've been very strong this year about talking about improvement in our players," Hird said.

"I'm not sure how far we are in the eight or what other teams have to do, and we haven't looked at that a lot because we have to keep teaching.

"Whether or not we make the eight this year, in 18 months' time we want to keep coaching and teaching so we do become a good team."

Essendon have won their past two matches in excellent, yet contrasting style, to continue their growth under Hird.

A one-point thriller against Sydney with scintillating football throughout was followed by excellent first and second quarters against the Bulldogs, a third quarter fadeout, and eventual steadying to ensure victory.

Accuracy in front of goal proved pivotal - the Bombers' slick transition when going inside the opposition's 50-metre arc becoming a feature of their game under Hird.

"Our ability to kick the ball well early got us the goals because the contested ball was going the Western Bulldogs' way, the inside-50s and time in forward half was also going their way," he said.

"We used the ball relatively well and that's a big plus for our guys ... they're kicking the ball really well."

A huge test for the Bombers looms with a trip to Perth this weekend to play another top eight side in West Coast, who could well be their opposition in the opening week of finals.

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