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CEO may have offended some Dons: Woosha

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02:  Jobe Watson of the Bombers looks dejected after defeat during the round 15 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on July 2, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images/AFL Media)
Essendon players leave the field after the loss to the Lions

ESSENDON coach John Worsfold said some players might have been "offended" by chief executive Xavier Campbell's tweet about Sunday's shock loss to the Brisbane Lions.

Shortly after the club's eight-point defeat to the bottom-placed Lions at Etihad Stadium, the Bombers boss tweeted, saying: "Not good enough. Not even close. Fans deserve so much better. 41,000 came out today and we let you down."

Campbell has since apologised to the playing group via its leaders, and although Worsfold did not appear fussed by the message, he admits it may have left some players disappointed.

"What I love about the world is that we're all different. Some players might get a little bit offended, like, 'Why is the CEO telling us that? We've already had a spray from the coach' [or] 'People are queuing up to get into us'. Everyone's different," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"But Xavier, with good leadership, addressed it with the guys. I think that's good. Xavier put his thoughts out there, addressed it with the team about the context behind it, let everyone express their opinions and we're on the same page."

Worsfold was first made aware of the tweet by Campbell, and like captain Dyson Heppell earlier this week, said he agreed with the CEO's sentiments.

"My first idea of that tweet was when Xavier actually told me about it. When I saw it I said, 'That pretty much sums up how we all feel'. He didn't apologise to me, he didn't need to. I immediately said to him, 'Mate, that sums up where we're all at'," he said.

"Xavier was more about how we felt we let our fans down. We felt like we let our fans down, but we let ourselves down as well. We let the club down in that performance. That was an event, it hasn't been a pattern for us. We need to make sure the pattern is what we'd seen previous to that."

Essendon's leaders have come under fire for their performances in the past two weeks, after giving up strong leads in the final terms against Sydney and the Lions to lose tight clashes.

The back-to-back defeats have put the club's finals hopes in jeopardy, and Worsfold said the review of Sunday's crumbling last-quarter performance had seen some senior players admit they had got things wrong in the final term.

But he said the club needed to share the blame for the performance.

"I don't think it's just been our leaders, I think it's been all of us that have to be accountable to the way we play," Worsfold said.

"We're all on the same page that we underperformed and that's not taking anything away from the performance Brisbane put up, but we were disappointed with the way we played the game. We're accountable to that and we take criticism for that," he said.

The Bombers' mental resilience has also been questioned for their inconsistent efforts this season, but Worsfold cited their ability to get through the past four years of scandals as evidence they were a strong unit.

However, he also said the past was "irrelevant" when assessing how the team was tracking in 2017.

"We obviously have things lingering that we use in assessing the group physically and mentally going through this year, but we don't refer back to the past. This is focusing on what we're trying to achieve this year," he said.

The Bombers face Collingwood on Saturday at the MCG, and despite the showing against the Lions, Worsfold doesn't expect to make a swag of changes to the line-up.