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Worsfold defends demeanour

BTV: Media Conference | John Worsfold - August 14 Senior coach John Worsfold spoke to the media at The Hangar.
There were parts in the game where I sat quietly, I can't talk non-stop, and they've been highlighted. It's a cheap shot, but that's fine. [Just] a glancing blow."
John Worsfold

Essendon coach John Worsfold has responded to "shallow" criticism of his coaching style, saying discussion around his demeanour during the Bombers' heavy loss to the Western Bulldogs is a "cheap shot".

Worsfold also said he was "fully committed" to coaching next year, as the Bombers fight to remain in the top eight.

The 2006 West Coast premiership coach was questioned externally for his lack of outward emotion while sitting on the interchange bench in Essendon's 104-point loss to the Bulldogs last Saturday.

But he said the vision highlighted didn't capture his discussions with fellow coaches, players and staff at other periods of the contest.

"I've got a clear pathway on how I go about my job and what we're doing and I'm really excited about a lot of the things these players are learning and where we're going. That's it in a nutshell," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"The fact that other people don’t like that I, for some parts of the game on the weekend, I sat quietly in the highlighted bits of vision, which was maybe two per cent of the game, people can target me on that. That's pretty shallow.

"Has anyone looked back on the whole 110 minutes of what I was doing? I was in constant communication with the coaches box, constantly supporting the players, challenging them.

"There were parts in the game where I sat quietly, I can't talk non-stop, and they've been highlighted. It's a cheap shot, but that's fine. [Just] a glancing blow."


John Worsfold has defended his demeanour during Saturday night's loss to the Western Bulldogs. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Essendon's back-to-back losses at the hands of Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs have its finals hopes precariously placed. 

It plays Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night and will then face Collingwood in the final round in a bid to secure a finals spot.

Worsfold said the conjecture about his future with the club did not concern him. He is contracted for next season.

"Not really, other than understanding I can't control the speculation. What's the reality? That's more the question. The speculation is fine. If people didn't talk about teams that were going through a rough trot then what are they going to talk about?," he said.

"The reality is we've played two poor games coming off a really good six or seven weeks of footy. The reality is I'm contracted for next year, I'm fully committed to this footy club and enjoying the challenge of getting the group to where it wants to get to." 

The Bombers will have a strengthened squad to face the Dockers, with Darcy Parish (concussion) and Aaron Francis (neck) to return, while defenders Michael Hurley (shoulder) and Adam Saad (hamstring) are also a chance.

Worsfold said he expects Jake Stringer to be available despite a tight hamstring.