Worsfold: Dons’ next flag ‘a million miles away’
A frustrated John Worsfold was at a loss last night to explain the enormity of Essendon's 104-point thrashing at the hands of a relentless Western Bulldogs.
But Worsfold urged his playing group to remain positive ahead of next week's crucial clash with Fremantle, with its finals hopes NOW teetering on the edge.
In a serious blow for the Bombers' 2019 campaign, and with a stinging loss that will bring more heat on the coach, Essendon gave up 21 consecutive goals in an embarrassing night at Marvel Stadium.
After kicking the opening goal of the game in only 23 seconds, it took until the 21-minute-mark of the final term for the Bombers to get their second major.
Worsfold admitted the result was "hard to explain" and the performance was "not who we are".
But he stressed his resolve to lead this club towards its elusive 17th premiership had not wavered, despite it looking like his team was "a million miles away" from a flag.
Asked what message he had for the fuming fan base, he said: "We are just as disappointed as you and we are just as frustrated."
"We have a focus in this (playing) group … and it won't be this exact group of trying to win the (club's next) premiership.
"Right now that feels like it is miles away, but three weeks ago, it didn't feel like it was miles away."
He was more frustrated than angry, but insisted the game review would be a balanced one.
"It's not the first time it has happened in the history of the game and it won't be the last," he said.
"No team is immune (from losses like that).
"There is no doubt at times tonight you would think this is a brutal game - and it is not much fun.
"But I've been there before and taken teams through that and learnt through it.
"I'm more than comfortable that I have done it before and (I) will do it again."
Essendon sits in seventh position on 11 wins, but lost almost seven percentage points on the night, with the Bulldogs and other sides chasing their top eight spot.
Worsfold said his message the players was simple - they need to get the hunger back fast.
He refused to blame the club's long injury list for the reasons behind last night's flogging, but hopes to get Aaron Francis and Darcy Parish back for the crucial clash with the Dockers, while Adam Saad is an outside chance to play.