Essendon captain Dyson Heppell says his playing group has work to do to get back to playing consistent football, week in and week out.
Not shying away from the disappointment of the loss, the captain fronted up on Monday morning via the airwaves to discuss the Bombers’ five-point loss to Sydney on Friday night.
“We couldn’t get the job done on Friday, it didn’t really click for us. It was very disappointing,” Heppell told SEN 1116.
“We really haven’t strung any consistent form together this year. We had a three-week patch where we really thought we found our brand and identity. We are certainly still building towards that but the best teams in the competition – they perform consistently, week in and week out, they win those close games.
“We have had a couple of close losses but at the moment we are certainly not up and about or near the best in the comp. We have a fair bit of work to do to really find that consistency, but I have no doubt we can get back to that.
“We certainly can’t say the season is done and dusted. We have a lot of footy to play and plenty of time to get to our best.”
With a forward line currently hampered by injury, with the likes of Shaun McKernan, Joe Daniher and now Orazio Fantasia sidelined, the midfielder said his side would look to identify the balance up forward ahead of Saturday night's clash against Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.
“We have systems in place, it’s not just that run-and-gun type of footy, it’s a number of ways we can move the ball and we are building on our defensive system that we believe will stack up against the best sides,” Heppell said.
“It is all about finding chemistry, building consistency and we showed we can do that throughout periods of games. There were certainly patches on Friday night where we looked quite controlled with the ball and our defence looked solid. A lot of it comes down to skill errors, poor forward-50 entries that allow the opposition to hurt us so there are definitely a few things that need ironing out.”
Dyson Heppell says the Bombers have plenty of work to do to recapture their best footy. (Photo: AFL Media)
Heppell said the gap between the Bombers’ best and worst football would be reviewed by the coaching and playing group.
“Our gap between our best and our worst isn’t too flash. You see guys like 'Walla' (Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti) bring great energy to the side, he’s not all about touching the footy but it’s his impact and pressure around the ball that you see. All we can ask is guys to buy in and play their role week in and week out,” he told SEN Breakfast on Monday morning.
“That’s where that real consistency and form comes into play, so we need to look at that.”
Addressing the external commentary about his support post-game for fellow midfielder David Myers, Heppell said it was about showing support for his teammate.
“I did hear about this but it’s simple as it was a momentary show of support for my teammate. I am just as disappointed as everyone else and was gutted with the result,” Heppell said.
“It’s about knowing your teammate. It certainly doesn’t reflect the emotions of that loss and the disappointment and frustration.”