BEN Rutten believes Essendon's best is worthy of finals footy and says the Bombers will keep their focus narrow ahead of a season-defining final round against Collingwood.
Essendon kept its hopes alive of playing in September with a clinical 68-point hiding of Gold Coast on Sunday, but its focus quickly shifted to playing the Magpies.
Rutten said despite not having confirmation on a day or venue, his team had to lock in on playing its best footy, a brand he believes is enough to make the top eight.
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"I think so," Rutten said when asked whether the Bombers' best was good enough.
"The last half a dozen weeks has been really important for us.
"We've started getting a little more stability with our personnel, and playing a more consistent brand of footy.
"It takes time to build some cohesion and some consistency. That’s going to be important for us going into next week."
Rutten praised Jake Stringer for his five-goal, 19-disposal outing, saying a strong training block was the catalyst for his withering burst over the back half of the year.
He was also pleased to see Andy McGrath (knee) back after nine weeks out, describing his 13-disposal day as "rusty".
"We are just really keen on finishing the year strong and our focus is really pretty narrow at the moment," he said.
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew described his team's performance as "immature", disappointed it was unable to back up last week's triumph over Carlton.
Dew said despite an even first quarter on the scoreboard, the writing was on the wall for the Suns as they struggled to win the ball at the contest and then move it against the Bombers' pressure.
"We want to be a consistent footy club and today again showed that we're not," Dew said.
"It was a bit of an immature performance, we feel.
"It's the week to week. (We had) Difficult circumstances and lost the first week (in Melbourne against Melbourne).
"We were able to pick ourselves up and beat a team (Carlton) playing for finals, and then not being able to back that up."
Sean Lemmens left the game with a corked leg and will be assessed through the week, while Jack Bowes has a tight hamstring that will be investigated further on Monday.