FORMER Essendon coach Mark Thompson says James Hird faces a huge fight to keep his job after the Bombers slumped to their fourth defeat in a row on Saturday.
Essendon's 38-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG left them floundering in 13th spot with a 4-8 record.
Asked on 3AW if he felt there was "an inevitability" about Hird's situation, Thompson replied: "I think so, and I think James knows that".
Thompson said he felt sorry for Hird, who always faced a tough task to step back into the senior coaching role that Thompson vacated after Hird returned from his 12-month ban for his part in the 2012 supplements scandal.
"It was always going to be hard, wasn't it?" Thompson said.
"There's a fair bit of power and weight around the football world that don't want him in the job and he knows that.
"Eventually it will happen, I think.
"I think he set out with all the right intentions, to go out and try and win games and just focus on the footy, (but) I think it's been too much for him."
Former champion Bombers spearhead Matthew Lloyd agreed pressure was mounting on the relationship between Hird and his old club.
"I think it probably is polarising people with where the club's been and that sort of thing," Lloyd told 3AW.
"When you're 4-8, that obviously adds to the frustration of club members, as well.
"I don't know where they stand with James Hird at the moment."