Essendon senior coach John Worsfold fronted the media at The Hangar on Wednesday, ahead of his side's clash with Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

Below are Worsfold's key quotes.

Picking up the pieces from the defeat to the Dogs

"We’re disappointed with last week’s effort, but I’ve still got full confidence in the group. We had a really good review on Monday. Players came out of it with a clear idea of what we were disappointed with and a clear focus going forward."

Dealing with players after a heavy loss

"I think over 20 years it’s definitely changed. Everything is constantly evolving in how players respond, what they expect from leaders around them, and our responsibility to get the best out of a group and individuals.

"I have an absolute commitment to myself to continually learn and grow. It’s (dealing with players after a loss) very contextual, it’s week-to-week, but overall it’s about keeping focused about where they want to get to."

External criticism of Worsfold's demeanour

"The fact that other people don’t like that I, for some parts of the game on the weekend, 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."

Squad availability for round 22

"I think we’ve got Parish and Francis available this week, possibly Hurley. Obviously it’s week-to-week with Heppell and Fantasia, but I’m comfortable with what we’ve got to select from."

Jake Stringer's race to be fit

"He’s really good. I think he’ll play, but he’s got to tick the boxes and see what happens."

Dyson Heppell's leadership

"Dyson’s learning all the time. He’s such a committed team man, and such a driven individual. He wants to keep learning. He’ll keep getting better in his leadership."

Worsfold's view on the playing list

"This list has been amazing in the last three to four years in terms of what they’ve achieved. They’ve come out of something that had the potential to derail this footy club, and the fact they’ve made finals in one year, been on the cusp in other years and this year hopefully playing finals, is quite remarkable."

Justin Crow's (physical performance departure) impending departure

"It’s a mutual decision with Justin. He’s been here for a long time and through some tough times. Justin is a super intelligent young man with a lot of talent. He’s keen to explore growth in that area and the club feels we’re comfortable to move forward as well."

Blake Caracella joining the Dons' coaching panel in 2020

"I spoke to Blake a couple of times to meet him and talk about his footy philosophies, his values, and what our club values are that we’re pushing forward to."