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Worsfold: 'We have to improve'

Michael Whiting afl.com.au  September 9, 2017 9:28 PM

BTV: EF | John Worsfold Media Conference - Sept 9 Woosha spoke to the media after the game.

Essendon Coach John Worsfold believes the Bombers can fix their inside midfield struggles from within.

The Bombers conceded ten goals in second quarter of the Elimination Final as Sydney went on to win by 65 points.

The Swans won the ball on the inside and swept it forward to give Lance Franklin (four goals) and Callum Sinclair (three) countless one-on-one chances.

"We've got a lot of growth in this group and part of that is grunt as they grow and mature," Worsfold said.

"I'd say that was an area we were short against Sydney today but I think we'll be able to add that to our group from within.

"We learnt a lesson on 120 minutes of crash and bash, in-tight tough footy.

"There was one quarter where they really ripped it away from us."

Worsfold said Essendon would also look to the draft and trade period to boost its midfield talent, particularly following the retirement of club champion and inside bull Jobe Watson.

Watson and three-time premiership player James Kelly both finished their distinguished careers at the SCG, but not before passing on plenty of valuable lessons to their teammates.

"Those guys have been so generous in their leadership and teachings of the guys," Worsfold said.

"Our lessons and what they've left with us is going to be everlasting for this group.

"It's awesome.

"The boys have already spoken about it to each other, about what they've learnt from those guys, not only the last 12 or 18 months, but in Jobe's case, the last 10 or 12 years."

Despite the exit in week one of finals, Worsfold said the gloss hadn't been taken off the Bombers' season.

He said the next step to play deeper in September would be tough, but believed they had the tools to do it.

"It wasn't about Buddy, it was how quickly they got the ball going forward and got it to him," Worsfold said.

"What we had to do was be better around the ball. I think after laying 40 tackles in the first quarter, it dropped off to nine or 10 in the second quarter.

"For whatever reason that intensity dropped away in the second quarter.

"That doesn't take the gloss off our round one win over Hawthorn when our unbelievable supporters marched to the 'G. it doesn’t take the gloss off our Anzac Day victory.

"There's been a massive amount of gains made by the whole footy club in so many areas. We lost today to a very good team.

"The main thing I'm taking out of it (season) is we need to get better as a club as a playing group.

"We've got to keep growing and learning and getting better.

"We're not here to quality for the finals, we're here to win a premiership and we have to improve."