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Goddard addresses tackles

Brendon Goddard has defended his efforts this season.
Brendon Goddard has defended his efforts this season.

With just 17 tackles to his name this season, Essendon veteran Brendon Goddard concedes he needs to improve the defensive side of his game.

The 32-year-old has come under fire for the lack of physical pressure he is placing on the opposition as a playmaking defender, but he told SEN on Tuesday morning the glaring statistic wasn't a sign his effort was below par in 2018.

Goddard sits ninth in the AFL for uncontested possessions (147) and 10th for effective disposals with 165.

"I'm admitting my tackle numbers have been low, but that's one indicator of effort … there are a number of other areas that we internally value and you can indicate internally your effort across the board, and that's one area where I need to improve," Goddard said.

"That's just a statistic you guys can easily go to and use to say he isn't giving effort because he hasn’t tackled.

"It is kind of difficult to know what is going on looking from afar.

"I look at the tackle numbers and say, 'Yeah, I need to tackle more', but it's not the biggest issue of what you're trying to suggest.

"I admit that needs to improve and I need to improve in that area."

Essendon are 12th across the competition for tackles this season with 510, compared to Gold Coast's League-leading 581.

Goddard explained the Bombers had several different key indicators for tackling efficiency, and didn't rely solely on the basic stats.

"It’s about opportunity to tackle within your roles in the team," he said.

"If you look statistically, defenders and outside players are generally low on tackles, so it's about having an opportunity then to do that.

"We look at missed tackles and the opportunities you did have to tackle or impact the player."