Essendon coach Brad Scott speaks to the media during a press conference on April 9, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

ESSENDON coach Brad Scott has denied a lack of effort was behind the hapless Bombers' 69-point thumping by Port Adelaide.

Trailing by three points at quarter-time on Friday night, Essendon added only three more goals as Port's midfield dominated in a clinical Gather Round smashing.

The performance offered a crash-landing for the Bombers' long-suffering fan base, just six days after they were celebrating a rousing win against St Kilda.

Essendon's 'edge' went missing, drawing comparisons to the back end of last season when it was embarrassed by Greater Western Sydney and Collingwood.

"Nothing's ever behind you – this competition is brutal, it's tight, it's tough. The result was poor for us last Friday night," Scott said on Tuesday.

"Two minutes to go in the second quarter, it's game on. 


"We had some poor passages of play ... it's difficult to say it wasn't a lack of effort, because any time you lose by (that much) it looks like a lack of effort.

"What we clearly identified was our pressure, our tackling. While the technique wasn't perfect, our effort wasn't actually the issue – execution was the issue."

Making the night that much worse for the Bombers was seeing young midfielder Archie Perkins go down with a hamstring strain.

Scott confirmed the former first-round draft pick would miss "at least a couple of weeks".

Archie Perkins in action at Essendon training on April 9, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

It comes after important defender Jordan Ridley suffered his third quad injury in less than 12 months, pushing back his return date even further.

"It's going to be a number of weeks – you can pluck a number out," Scott said.

"I don't really focus too much on is it two weeks, three weeks, four weeks? 

"It's just making sure (Ridley) takes the necessary steps in his rehab and has a really conservative build to get back in full training.

"We've got a few (soft-tissue injuries) at the moment to pretty important players, so we'll just keep working on the process to improve that.

Jordan Ridley after the AAMI Community Series match between Essendon and Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on March 1, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"Ideally you don't have any injuries, but the reality is you're always going to have some.

"We've just got to make sure we're turning over every stone ... (and) getting everything right in our prep."

After being blown away by Port's elite midfield, the Bombers will contend with another red-hot onball brigade when they face the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

Captain Marcus Bontempelli, veteran Tom Liberatore and fellow midfield gun Adam Treloar all starred in the Bulldogs' narrow defeat to Geelong.