Essendon arrive as AFL finals threat

Coach John Worsfold (l) hailed his Bombers' improvement after their latest AFL win over the Crows.
Coach John Worsfold (l) hailed his Bombers' improvement after their latest AFL win over the Crows.

Coach John Worsfold knew Essendon would get there - he just didn't know how long it would take.

The Bombers have undeniably arrived as a genuine finals threat.

Essendon booted four goals in the last seven minutes to sink Adelaide by 21 points on Friday night.

They have banked four consecutive victories, and six from their past seven games.

It's a stunning turnaround from a 3-5 start to the season when many, except Worsfold, lost faith.

"I knew where it was going," he said after Essendon's 15.6 (96) to 10.15 (75) away win against the Crows.

"I didn't know how long it was going to take to get there.

"You never do, you don't know what is going to happen week-to-week.

"All you can do is focus on what you believe in and stick at it."

The Bombers enter the weekend two wins ahead of ninth spot.

And they play just one side above them (Collingwood) for the rest of the minor round.

"Honestly, I don't look at the ladder regularly," Worsfold said.

"I look at how we want to play the game and how we can keep improving, that is my focus.

"There is gong to be a lot of shuffling of that top 12 or 14 teams over the next however many rounds there are to go.

"So I'm not gong to spend any time worrying about what that potentially might look like."

But Worsfold took satisfaction with his club's timely run into the finals.

"If you look at the way we're playing our footy over the last six or seven weeks, we're seeing more and more consistency," he said.

Orazio Fantasia, Zac Clarke and Jayden Laverde, who all missed the Crows game due to injury, should be available for next week's trip to face last-placed Gold Coast.

Captain Dyson Heppell gathered 20 disposals in Adelaide despite a foot injury which he will carry for the rest of the season.

"We don't know how he will pull up until probably Monday," Worsfold said.

"He may be right for the rest of the year, he may need another spell somewhere. Don't know, it's not one you can predict."

Australian Associated Press