James Hird
James Hird Vince Caligiuri / Getty Images

Coach Hird sticking with Bombers for the long haul

CHIEF executive Ian Robson might have quit the Bombers but coach James Hird says he has no intentions of following him out of the door at Windy Hill.

Ahead of tonight's "Dreamtime at the G" clash with Richmond, Hird declared his intentions to be coach at Essendon "for a long time".

Robson resigned on Thursday in the wake of the ASADA drugs investigation and will be replaced on an interim basis by former Tattersalls boss Ray Gunston, but Hird said he was going nowhere.

"I'm the coach of the Essendon Football Club, I love coaching the club, I intend to coach them for a long time; and coach them for the supporters, the players and everyone involved," he said.

Hird said he would not talk about the ASADA findings until the report was released but said it had been hard for his players to focus.

"We can't deny it's a distraction, because it has been," he said.

"I mean, this is not a normal weekly routine for football, but the majority of those interviews are now done, the players have now got through that part of the process."

Hird also confirmed star forward Michael Hurley was "100% certain to play" tonight after being left concussed last week following a sling tackle from Lions defender Daniel Merrett.

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