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Confident Bombers

BTV: RD 4 | Stewart post-game We caught up with James Stewart after our Round 4 win over the Power.

Essendon forward James Stewart says the Bombers had last year’s 70-point thrashing of Port Adelaide in the back of their minds ahead of their exciting win on Sunday.

While Port Adelaide entered the round four clash undefeated, the Bombers controlled the contest impressively from the outset for a 22-point victory.

Stewart said the confidence the playing group took into the match from their most recent battle with the Power played a big part in the result.

“I think that was a little bit in the back of our minds,” Stewart said post-match.

“We did look at some of the ways we moved the ball in that game and we kicked a big score that day as well, so we looked at a little bit of that.

“But it was really about rectifying some of the stuff that we were down on (in) the previous couple of weeks.”

The former Giant said bouncing back from a tough fortnight after losses to Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs was “extremely satisfying”.

“The boys were really flat with our performance (in) the last couple of weeks, it wasn’t us.

“To come out today and bounce back like that I thought was really important for our group, it gives us a lot of confidence.”

The Bombers have found themselves chasing their opposition throughout the season to date, but that changed on Sunday.

Stewart quickly booted the first goal of the game as Essendon piled on the first three majors of the match, and he said it was nice to force the Power onto the back foot.

“I think we felt really strong throughout that game.

“(Our) starting hasn’t been (at) our best the last couple of rounds, so it was really nice to get on top early and be up and about.”

The key forward went on to kick three goals in an impressive performance to take his season tally to 10, and said having timely support from his fellow forwards was important.

“I think I was happy with my first half, I drifted in and out in the second half, but that was probably the nature of the game and other guys bobbed up, which was good.

“I’m just looking to keep backing up week in, week out, and I’m just happy to get the win.”

One of those supporting teammates was powerful recruit Jake Stringer, who kicked four goals in an electrifying display of his best football.

Stewart said having the former Bulldog spend the majority of his match in the forward line after extended stints in the midfield this season was a big boost for the attacking group.

“It was good to have him back down forward and do what he does best,” he said.

“His leadership is also important with us down there, he’s a very experienced player.

“To have him down there in the mix gives us another dynamic and it worked well tonight.”

Stewart also lauded the efforts of impressive first-gamer Matt Guelfi, who gathered 17 disposals in a debut to remember.

“I thought he was terrific. I said to a couple of boys just walking off then, ‘he was great’ – he looked like he really belonged.

“I spoke to him after that and he seemed like he had a great time out there and a lot of fun, and he killed it.”

Essendon now has an extended break ahead of its highly anticipated Anzac Day clash with Collingwood.