Essendon coach John Worsfold has let rip at the Bombers’ critics who took aim at an image post-match after their loss to Geelong on the weekend.
Likely to miss the finals despite a series of high profile trades and recruits in the last few years, the Bombers have come under heavy scrutiny from the likes of former club great Matthew Lloyd in recent weeks.
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Worsfold is coming to the end of his tenure as Essendon coach as he plans to hand over to Ben Rutten in 2021.
But he couldn’t help hit back critics who blasted the team after a photo emerged of the players laughing in a team huddle following the 66-point loss.
"I don't have a strong view. We measure the players on performance,” he said a press conference.
“If telling that joke got them up to playing the footy we played in the second half where we had more scoring shots and more inside-50s than Geelong then we should've been cracking those gags before the game.
"People put perspective on it. It's a very narrow focus in the context of what players are doing. We can pick on player groups at any time. We want the AFL to have some characters in the game, but ultimately we get measured on performance.”
"For me we get measured on our performance and that's what we want to go on. If people want to use facial expressions or other actions as a measure of that, I can't control that.”
Worsfold hits out at Lloyd
Lloyd argued the club was going nowhere earlier in the week, and his 2000 premiership teammate Dean Wallis has joined the chorus.
The former defender called for a ‘review and investigation’ into the club, who he labelled ‘imposters’.
But Worsfold also defended the club from Lloyd’s criticism.
“I am not sure he garnered any support with those,” Worsfold added.
“That’s his job as a commentator, not a journalist as I understand, don’t expect him to make journalistic comments. He is just an opinion maker. He is welcome to do that if that’s the way he feels.”
Essendon haven't won a final since 2004.