John Worsfold’s plea for Essendon to stay united amid calls for him to be replaced

Essendon greats Matthew Lloyd and Tim Watson believe John Worsfold is under pressure to save his job but the Bombers coach is confident the club is still on the right track.

Under pressure Essendon coach John Worsfold has urged the club and its supporters to stay united ahead of its season-defining clash against Greater Western Sydney.

Bombers champions Matthew Lloyd and Tim Watson have turned up the heat on Worsfold, with Lloyd declaring it’s time the Bombers started the search for a new coach.

A 6-7 and currently in 10th position on the ladder, the Bombers were smashed by the Eagles on Thursday night and must defeat the Giants at Marvel Stadium to stay in touch with the top eight.

Essendon’s finals chances could be decided in the next month, with matches against GWS (home), Sydney (home), North Melbourne and Adelaide (away).

Should the Bombers miss the finals it would be for the second consecutive season but Worsfold has called for patience.

“The brand of footy we’ll be playing at our best will be a finals brand of footy,” he said.

“We absolutely believe that.

“We’re not playing it as well as we would like at the moment, and that’s going to take ongoing commitment.

“I listen to other clubs that are in similar positions that are building a team, they say it takes time. We’re building that team.

“We’re two years into it, maybe 18 months into it, and it may take a little more time but we’re not going to sway from what we’re trying to build because the risks are if you sway from that, you move further away from what you’re trying to achieve.

“Our supporters, I can understand they get frustrated but I know what they want and if it’s the same thing that we want, we’ve all got to stay committed to what we’ve been working on and we will get there fairly quickly.”

Watson said Worsfold was under just as much pressure as St Kilda coach Alan Richardson but is without the same injury excuses.

“I think they’ve under-achieved this year,” Watson said.

“He is (under as much pressure as Alan Richardson), because there’s an expectation at that football club at the beginning of this year, they were the most hyped team, although that didn’t come from internally but they didn’t dismiss it either.

“There’s enormous pressure on him and the team now to achieve this year and to make the finals this year.

“Their injury run hasn’t been (that bad). They’ve lost (Joe) Daniher and they’ve lost (Devon) Smith and (Jake) Stringer has missed a couple of weeks and (Orazio) Fantasia but compared to other teams that have been able to still produce a consistent performance week in and week out, they haven’t measured up in that area.”

Worsfold oversees training at Tullamarine on Monday.

Lloyd said: “Over the last month they’ve gone backwards a little bit.

“I’ve said I’d be looking at other options (to coach) and if there’s a better man out there, they should make that change.

“At six and seven, they’ve got to win seven of their last nine (to play finals).

“If they don’t play finals, yes, I would made the change.

“If they lose on Thursday night it’s season over.”

Star forward Jake Stringer is set to miss the must-win clash against GWS at Marvel Stadium.

Stringer is expected to be sidelined again after injuring his leg against Hawthorn despite being cleared of any fractures.

“Unlikely for this week,” Worsfold said.

“It’s a bit of an unknown injury with how it’s going to progress.

“If it’s not this week, hopefully it’s next week.

“It’s more soreness. They know how severe it is, they know exactly what’s happened, it’s just the soreness and how quickly that soreness gets out and gets to where he can play a full game of footy.”

Essendon announced defender Patrick Ambrose has re-signed until the end of 2021.

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