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AFL 2016 Training - Essendon 250216

Essendon assistant coach Guy McKenna

They understand it's going to be a long year ahead, and they're rolling up their sleeves and doing the work that's necessary to get them in a state where they can be very competitive

ESSENDON assistant coach Guy McKenna says the club isn't panicking despite two heavy losses during the NAB Challenge.

The Bombers have arrived back in Melbourne following Sunday's 105-point loss to West Coast at Domain Stadium.

The week before that, Essendon went down to Geelong by 87 points.

Despite that, the players appeared to be in good spirits at their recovery session at St Kilda beach on Tuesday morning.

McKenna said he was proud of the players' attitudes in the wake of the defeats, and said they hadn't given up hope.

"[Dropping their heads] that's the easy way out isn't it?" McKenna said.

"That's why I'm proud of the fellas. 

"They understand it's going to be a long year ahead and they're rolling up their sleeves and doing the work that's necessary to get them in a state where they can be very competitive.

"As long as they keep turning up with a great attitude and wanting to work and get better, the world is your oyster.

"It's not panic stations or anything like that. It's about building and developing these boys into a premiership-winning side."

Former Essendon great Tim Watson has suggested opposition teams may rest their star players against the Bombers throughout the season.

McKenna said the club wouldn't be insulted if that became a reality during the year.

"That's their prerogative if they want to do that, good luck," he said.

"In my previous life, I've seen that happen and sides win so that's their choice.  

"I haven't heard any coach say that or player from a club say that. All we can do is focus on what we can do."

Former Kangaroos defender Nathan Grima and ex-Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger both played in the VFL on the weekend and were impressive, McKenna said.

The club's conditioning staff is still discussing whether the pair will need another run in the VFL this weekend.

Ex-Cat Mathew Stokes left the recovery session early on Tuesday because of illness, but will be available for the Bombers' round one clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on March 26.