Kyle Langford isn’t letting one bad night deter from the side’s build in 2024.

The Bombers’ Gather Round loss to Port Adelaide was a frustrating result amidst an otherwise positive start to their 2024 campaign, but Langford is confident his side can rebound quickly.

With the opportunity to bounce back coming against a solid, experienced opponent in the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Friday night, Langford believes it’s a perfect platform for the Bombers to recapture their form.


“Including the pre-season, we put (a really good) five or six weeks of footy together and this was a step backwards, but the benefit of playing football is you get next week,” Langford said, speaking to 3AW on Monday.

“It’s been three days since the game and we’re already looking forward to Friday night and the Bulldogs.”

The areas for improvement were clearly established for the Bombers upon review, with a focus drawn to winning the ball at the source and preventing defensive leaks late in quarters.

Given the Dons’ clearance efforts helped propel their two early season wins (ranked first in the competition for clearance differential after round three), Langford’s confident the midfield brigade can come back stronger against the Dogs and create more opportunities forward of centre.


“I think it’s (about) our ability to stop momentum, stop leaking those goals especially in red-time. That kind of stuff will definitely help us, we’ve got a lot to work on throughout this week,” Langford said.

“In terms of myself and the other forwards, it was largely about making sure of what is in our control, which is our competitiveness, setting up structures right and continually showing up.

“In terms of moving forward I think we have a great midfield group, a great mix, we’ve been really working on our depth in that group as well. For different reasons, the Port mids got on top but I’m fully confident in our mids to get the job done and it’s going to be a great test against the ‘Doggies’ this week.”

“Darcy Parish and Zach Merrett are All Australians, we definitely have the calibre to match (other teams).”

Although the Bombers will miss young midfielder Archie Perkins against the Dogs to a hamstring injury, Langford’s confidence in the ability of other Bombers to slot into different roles hasn’t swayed.

An example of this has been Nik Cox’s move into a key defensive post, with Langford highlighting his growth and building confidence as an early positive from the opening month of the campaign.

“I think ‘Coxy’s playing some good footy already this year,” Langford said.

“Internally, we’re seeing growth and improvement every week, he’s a young player and I’ve really liked a lot of the stuff I’ve seen from (him).

“He can be an absolutely elite player in the competition at that height, his athleticism, his ability to kick on both feet. These things do take time and I personally think ‘Coxy’ is playing some really good football and helping out our backs.

“We’ve had players step up and play that (Perkins) position and like I said, that group of midfielders that we’ve got have been great.”

The opportunity this week is an immediate test, but Langford isn’t losing sight of the big picture this season as the Bombers continue their move forward.

“We don’t want to see that kind of performance at all, ideally we wouldn’t want to lose at all, but these things happen,” Langford said.

“(With) a healthy list out on the park, we can challenge most teams. Like we’ve seen, this competition is so tight that even if you’re just slightly off, any team can beat anyone.

“I’m confident in the list and the direction we’re going, we’re 2-2 and still in a good position, there’s plenty of football left to be played throughout the year and personally I’m not worried at all.”