ESSENDON will win the premiership if it finishes inside the top eight, according to club great James Hird.
The Bombers kept their finals chances alive after an emphatic 43-point win over Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
And Hird now believes the team he once coached can now go all the way.
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"If they make the finals, Essendon will win the premiership," Hird said on his podcast with former Hawthorn midfielder Shane Crawford.
"They have to beat Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Richmond to make the finals [so] what better form to be in.
"They're my tip (to win the flag)."
Essendon is 11th and sits outside the eight by one game and a large percentage differential. It has remaining games against Hawthorn (MCG), St Kilda (Etihad Stadium), Richmond (MCG) and Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval).
But given the Bombers' recent form, where they have won eight of their past 10 games, including victories against GWS (away), West Coast (away), North Melbourne and now Sydney, they have proven they can match it against the competition's best.
Hird believed the Essendon skipper deserved credit for the transformation since a 2-6 start to the season.
"Dyson Heppell has been incredible this year," Hird said.
"Essendon has turned their season around in the last nine or 10 weeks."
Friday night was the Bombers' first win against the Swans since 2011, and with it they became just the fourth side since 2013 to have beaten all eight interstate sides in the same season.