Hird let down by Bombers display
August 19, 2012 12:27:23 UK
Coach James Hird says he will need time to analyze fully where his Essendon side went wrong in their 96-point loss to Carlton on Saturday.
It's certainly a tail of two halves of the season.James Hird
The Bombers suffered their worst defeat against the Blues since 1936 and Hird is searching for answers, but the starting point for the coach was the way his side fell away dramatically from early in the match.
Hird said it was a "hugely disappointing performance by all of us. I thought we played 15 minutes and then we really fell away, it wasn't good at all," he added.
"We certainly couldn't keep up with them on the spread, they beat us heavily in contested footy, we didn't use the ball as well as they did and we didn't get enough forward 50 entries.
"There's four things that all go together and tie in, but when you don't get the ball going your way and can't spread as well as the other team, it's a pretty hard day."
The Bombers looked on track for a top-four finish when they had won eight of their first nine matches.
"It's certainly a tail of two halves of the season, the way we played early in the year and the way we played today it's totally different brands of football and it's my job to go and figure out why and fix it," Hird said.
"This year I think we've literally got five weeks more out of the boys than we did last year so there's a positive, but it seems to be the back-end of years we can't compete with other clubs.
"Last year it was around Round 8 or 9 that we started to lose our form and this year it was probably after the Bulldogs game around Round 13 or 14.
"I'd like to think it's a building thing, but that would be wiping away today's performance and I don't want to use that as an excuse for today's performance."
Hird also confirmed that defenders Dustin Fletcher and Jake Carlisle are unlikely to play again this year after suffering groin and ankle injuries respectively.
In the SANFL, Norwood are 1.33 to take the title, with Central District 5001.00 and West Adelaide 7.50.
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