JOHN Worsfold doesn't believe his future at Essendon rests on a strong performance in this week's elimination final against West Coast.
The Bombers coach has steered the club back into the finals for the second time since being appointed in the role ahead of the 2016 season.
But his position continues to attract doubts despite being contracted for next year.
Essendon fans watch training on Monday. Picture: Getty Images
Ahead of the Bombers' trip to Perth for Thursday night's knockout final, Worsfold said he thought his place as coach was secure regardless of Essendon's finals results.
"[That belief] is based on non-stop communication with the executive of the Essendon Football Club. We don't just talk when something's written in the paper, we talk about it non-stop – where we're going, how the team's going, and where everything's at," he said on Monday.
Worsfold, who has won seven of 18 finals he has coached, including the Eagles' 2006 premiership triumph, said he had not spent time considering his position in the lead-up to this week's clash.
"It's not for me to pump my tyres up or to be disappointed to see it in other ways. I've got plenty to focus on in terms of picking a team…without worrying about if someone thinks I've done a reasonable job or not," he said.
It is looking more likely that Worsfold will have star defender Michael Hurley at his disposal for the clash.
Michael Hurley at training last week. Picture: Getty Images
Hurley had a partial dislocation of his shoulder in the Bombers' round 23 loss to Collingwood, but has been training with the main group, including at Monday's session, and is growing more confident of playing.
"He's going really well. At this stage everything's looking really promising," Worsfold said.
"He has to say he thinks he's able to play at the required level in this game. The medical staff have to agree with that and say they're comfortable that he's available, and then we have to decide we're going to pick him.
"All those things we have to do, but at this stage he's tracking really well."
Essendon will travel on Wednesday before opening this year's finals series, and has been studying the performance of Hawthorn, who knocked off West Coast at home in the final round of the regular season.
It has served as something of a blueprint for the Bombers, who beat the reigning premiers at the venue last year.
"There's stuff Hawthorn did that was interesting. We've also looked at some other game where West Coast's been challenged over there, including some of the quarters we've played against them over the past 18 months as well," Worsfold said.