”I mean, we have sat on top of the ladder since round one. It’s almost like we have sat fifth, but we have sat on top. That is what I am proud of, we have been really consistent. Good on the boys for getting that done but I know they are not satisfied.”
Bombers coach John Worsfold doesn’t buy into the notion that Port are pretenders.
“They’re not there because they’re fluking it,” he said. “Who comes up with this stuff? You sit on top of the ladder because you beat the opposition every week. The ladder tells the story of how good you are.”
While the Power soon will move into finals mode, Essendon’s eyes are firmly on 2021, when Ben Rutten will take over from Worsfold, whose 369th and certainly final game as a senior coach will be against Melbourne next Saturday.
Worsfold expects his successor to be the beneficiary of fitter versions of Joe Daniher – should he re-sign – and Jake Stringer in 2021.
Daniher has been plagued by persistent groin problems in recent seasons, while Stringer missed seven weeks mid-season with a serious ankle injury. The out-of-sorts pair combined for 13 disposals and 0.2 against Port.
“We know he [Daniher] is going to start to work back to his best footy next year,” Worsfold said. “This year was about just getting him back playing and he’s had to do that without any match practice and without much training.
“Stringer is the same with the footy he’s missed. We all had an eight-week lay-off and then Jake had a serious injury against Collingwood when he was close to best on the ground. With a good pre-season under his belt, Jake will be ready to play really good footy for us.”