ESSENDON coach Ben Rutten says he won't ask his players to give former Bomber and new Port Adelaide recruit Orazio Fantasia an extra-hostile reception when the clubs meet on Saturday.
Fantasia kicked four goals last week in his first game for the Power after crossing to the club in last year's Trade Period despite having a year to run on his contract at Essendon.
He admitted this week there would be some nerves as he faces his old club, but Rutten said the Bombers wouldn't be focused on unsettling the 25-year-old.
"'Raz' is a popular member of our group and spent a lot of time here but he's at Port now and he's one of 22 or 23 players we're going to have to combat this week," Rutten said on Thursday.
"That's how we're treating it. He's at another club now and we'll treat him as we do all the other players.
"I think we know Raz's game a bit better than we do the rest of Port's players. Maybe that's an advantage, maybe it's not. I don't want our players getting too distracted about that. We want our guys to play our way."
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The Bombers fell to a one-point defeat last week against Hawthorn after leading the Hawks by 40 points late in the second term and now face the daunting task of travelling to Adelaide Oval to take on the Power.
They'll make the trip without Jake Stringer, who will have at least one more week at VFL level, while gun draftee Archie Perkins also looks set to wait for his AFL debut despite a strong showing in the VFL last week.
The Bombers have been reluctant to use Cale Hooker in defence, instead preferring him to partner with Harrison Jones and Peter Wright in attack, and Rutten signalled that was likely to remain despite the challenge of shutting down Power forward Charlie Dixon.
"We know Cale is a pretty capable defender – he's played 200 games of footy and a lot of it down back," Rutten said.
"We're also liking what he's doing up forward for us at the moment and we've got a lot of confidence in Aaron Francis, Jordan Ridley and Jayden Laverde back there as well. I'm really confident in their ability to get the job done as well and we know what Cale can do as well.
"It will be an interesting one but I'm keen to back our defenders in at this stage."