How have Bombers turned their season around?
COACH John Worsfold maintains not much has changed for Essendon, but somehow the Bombers have sprinted to their eighth win in 10 games since a shock loss to Carlton.
The Bombers burst back into finals contention and snapped an eight-game losing streak on Friday night against the Swans as Essendon's Michael Hurley quelled superstar Lance Franklin.
The Bombers' dominated the inside 50s 72-39 and recorded 53 more disposals and 19 more tackles. It was the third biggest inside 50m differential this year.
Worsfold considered throwing Cale Hooker or Aaron Francis forward in the second half to blanket intercept-marking ace Aliir Aliir, but backed in Mitch Brown and Jake Stringer to cover him and they delivered.
"Not a lot has changed (since losing to the Blues)," Worsfold said after the 43-point win.
"Our focus has been all the way through on learning about each other, learning how we want to play, implementing new aspects of our game.
"The hard work has been there, the commitment to the way we want to play has been there, (there has been) a lot of personnel changes over the time and it's a credit to everyone the way we've covered injuries.
"We obviously had two key forwards out tonight with Joe (Daniher) out and (Shaun) McKernan, but the way players have stepped up its been an all-round team effort.
"We haven't kicked that well in terms of (accuracy) the last couple of weeks, but a lot of that's been because we've forced turnovers under a lot heat and they've been rushed snaps at goal.
"But the opposition hasn't really been able to transition out of there."
The Bombers conceded more than 100 points four times in the first six weeks of the season but have done so just twice since.
Worsfold credited the improved defensive performance to cohesion and maintaining faith in the game plan after a rusty start to the year.
"Some of the one-on-ones (Hurley) won for us were really influential, so overall I thought he played the role as well as we could've asked him to," Worsfold said.
"We've got some quick players. It took a while before we started to see it break open, so the good part is it was a real hard, tough contest for a long time and we really matched Sydney in that area.
"Then as it started to open up our speed came to the fore."
Worsfold said Darcy Parish had benefited from working closely with former Geelong champion James Kelly, and praised workhorse Devon Smith's pressure.
"With a passion to put intensity on in terms of the contest, (Smith) is as good as I've seen," Worsfold said.
"He accelerates into a contest constantly, even if he's not going to win the ball he accelerates in to pressure the opposition."
Worsfold said Matt Dea (concussion) would be OK to face Hawthorn at the MCG next week.
But re-signed youngster Kyle Langford was sent to hospital after a late hit by Zak Jones left the Sydney defender reported for the second time during a heated encounter at Etihad Stadium.
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