Essendon coach Ben Rutten took aim at his senior players after the Bombers suffered a 58-point loss against Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night.
The Bombers are priced at 100/1 to win the grand final but they have picked up just two wins from the opening nine rounds and sit 16th on the AFL ladder.
The scoreline could have been even worse for Essendon as the Swans missed a number of opportunities to add to their points tally, and Rutten was not impressed.
When he addressed the media after the defeat he suggested that his players were not up for the contest as they lost the tackle count 54-30.
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Rutten also suggested it was his senior players that were most at fault.
"The night, the smaller ground, the opposition, it demanded a contested pressure tackling game and we weren’t up for it,"
Rutten said. "(Callum) Mills had 13 tackles individually. He was fantastic. He was one of a lot of Swans that were up for the fight.
"When I look across our squad, we didn’t show the resolve, steeliness to maintain the level that we needed to. There were times we were too easily derailed off our game.
"We found it hard to get back, in particular our more senior players. They're the ones we need to pave the way and shine the light for our younger guys. They didn’t do that tonight."
Dylan Shiel was one player that posted disappointing numbers for the game but Rutten was not willing to pick on anyone in particular.
"I don’t want to single players out at the moment, it's not the time," he said. "He's one of our senior guys that I mentioned who we need in a game like that that requires us to be up for the contest, pressure and tackling.”
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