ESSENDON coach John Worsfold is confident there is an easy way to address the confusion his team encountered on Saturday after their game plan came unstuck against the reigning premiers.
The Bombers were thumped at Wangaratta's Norm Minns Oval, failing to handle Richmond's defensive pressure on their way to an 87-point loss that raises questions about their progress 27 days out from a round one clash against Adelaide.
Worsfold said the problem was two-fold, with the players over-correcting with new aspects of the game plan, and then a lack of pressure at the contest when the ball spilled free.
"There's a lot of areas where we've been trying to implement some new things, and I could just see some confusion amongst the players, and probably just over-correcting some areas of play," the coach said.
"The good part about that is that's a fairly easy thing to address with them.
"We know [the game plan] is new and it's not going to be perfect straight up … and we're trialling it against a team that's up and going.
"But the good part of that is we get the opportunity to learn why things weren't going the way we would like them to go."
Worsfold said the loss would make his players think they have work to do before round one, but a stronger line-up in the next pre-season game against Geelong would help their preparation.
Of the three new recruits, Devon Smith (26 possessions) and Adam Saad, who kicked a brilliant 60m goal, pleased the coach, while Jake Stringer struggled after a head knock and had six possessions.
"I thought he started OK but just didn't get much of a chance after that," Worsfold said of Stringer.
"He was OK initially, but he was pretty crook and vague afterwards, so they thought let's get him out of the game just for precautionary reasons.
"Smith and Saad I was pretty pleased with the way they went about it."