ESSENDON is determined to show its thrashing at the hands of the Western Bulldogs last week was only a blip as the Bombers continue to bed down their game plan under senior coach-in-waiting Ben Rutten.
The Bombers can bounce back from last Friday night's drubbing to the Dogs when they head to Adelaide Oval on Sunday to take on the bottom-placed Crows.
THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?
Adelaide is still searching for its first win of 2020 under new coach Matthew Nicks but Essendon defender Michael Hurley said the Bombers were ready to make amends for last week's drop.
"We had a really good look at it. Some stuff around the ball we fell down," Hurley said on Friday.
ATTACK CRACKS Questions on forwards makes Woosha bristle
"We thought in previous weeks we'd been able to match the opposition then get the ball on the outside and use our strengths but last week we weren't able to do that and got beaten up around the ball in all areas of the game.
R8 TEAMS Power off the Hoff, big man carnage
"We've had a realignment this week, done some really good contest work on the track and hopefully take that into this week."
Hurley will be without his defensive partner Cale Hooker for the clash, with the veteran backman ruled out for at least the next two weeks with a calf injury.
Hurley said the Bombers were aware that with a condensed fixture approaching that it was likely some players, particularly senior options, would be rested for specific games to get them through a jam-packed second half of the year.
ROUNDS 8-12 Check out the full fixture
"We're going to have to be really flexible with that," he said.
"I think if you're unfortunate enough to get a big corkie or some little niggle with a four-day turnaround it's going to be really tough.
THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?
"We're going to have to be smart and plan our way through a tricky schedule. I think all clubs will be doing the same thing so we're all on an even playing field there."
While Hurley and Hooker offer the most experienced heads in Essendon's back half, it has been the Bombers' youngest defender who has shone brightest in 2020.
The emergence of Jordan Ridley as a classy rebounding half-back and strong intercept mark has added a new element to their defensive mix and Hurley tipped Ridley to be leading the club's best and fairest at this point of the year.
"He'd probably be winning it, I reckon, and comfortably. His development over such a short period of time has been incredible really," Hurley said.
"He came into the footy club and everyone saw the talent he had, and he's a quiet sort of guy, but the way he's flourished this year has been exceptional.
"He's got full confidence in himself now that he's an AFL player and a good AFL player at that.
"A bit of credit has to go to (defensive coach) James Kelly in the way he's really nurtured him through the pre-season and this year and it's really coming out in his game."