Brad Scott: we are not concerned by Essendon’s lack of scalps

Essendon coach Brad Scott has dismissed the notion that the Bombers need to defeat a top-eight team to validate their premiership aspirations.

Following a disappointing 45-point loss to Geelong on Saturday night, Essendon is gearing up for a rematch against Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night. The two teams previously drew on Anzac Day.

Despite losing three of their last four matches, Essendon remains in fourth place and has yet to secure a victory over a team currently in the top eight this season. Their most notable win came in round nine against GWS, who were early premiership favorites but have since slipped to 10th after a challenging two months.

“Is there that big a gap between second, third, fourth, and 14th? I would argue that there’s hardly any gap at all,” Scott said on Tuesday. “That’s more of what we’re aware of, rather than trying to knock off the teams that sit high up on the ladder.

“It’s about trying to separate yourself from the chasing pack. Wins are wins, and four points are harder to get than ever.”

Scott, a former AFL football boss, believes the league would be pleased with how the season is unfolding.

“Competitive balance is something I feel is talked about all the time, and they can almost sit there and say mission accomplished now,” he said. “Everything’s so balanced and competitive. It’s hard to separate yourself from every other team.

“In a competition where the AFL wants different teams to win the premiership every 18 years, it makes it incredibly hard for clubs to dominate.”

Following Essendon’s second-half collapse against the Cats, the focus has shifted to the umpiring.

Post-game, Scott carefully described the chaotic third quarter, where Geelong scored five goals to one amid contentious umpiring, as a “series of unfortunate events.” However, he emphasized that Essendon handled the momentum shift poorly and refused to blame the umpires for his players losing their way.

“It clearly impacted our players more than I’ve seen before,” Scott said. “They were quite agitated and frustrated, and we didn’t deal with that frustration well.

“We completely understand why they were frustrated, but in elite sport, things happen out of your control all the time. It’s only your reaction to that you can control.”

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