ESSENDON midfielder Kyle Langford addressed his teammates to explain his thinking after his bizarre brain fade during Saturday's loss to St Kilda.
The 22-year-old, along with teammate Matt Guelfi, ran past the ball near the sidelines when a free kick was paid to St Kilda.
Instead of stopping and returning to see out the play, Langford ran to the interchange bench and allowed the Saints to stream forward unopposed.
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"Kyle's addressed it with the playing group around what his mindset was at the time and why he made a mistake," coach John Worsfold said on Tuesday.
"[It was] a simple mistake."
The mistake has become emblematic of Essendon's horror start to the season, which has seen the Bombers belted by Greater Western Sydney in round one and beaten by the Saints, who were widely expected to finish in the bottom four this season, last weekend.
On Friday they meet Melbourne, also winless after two rounds, at the MCG, and Worsfold said he was confident his side was "not far away" from playing the type of football of which it was capable.
Worsfold said the Bombers had identified issues with their starts after going goalless in the first two opening quarters of the season, and he also backed the club's leaders after some criticisms of the club's on-field direction.
"I wouldn't say there's been a lack of direction, but the ability to execute that hasn't been good enough. We're aware of all those things and continually working to get better," he said.
Essendon has sorely missed key pair Joe Daniher and Cale Hooker as they nurse calf injuries, but Worsfold said Hooker was pushing to be available to face the Demons.
"I would guess [he's] probably available to play, if not this week, then the week after," he said.
"He's got to prove to everyone that he's right to go. If he gets through that today, then I suppose it's 50-50 [of him playing].
"He could be available this week. There's strict protocol they go through to minimise the risk of re-injury, so he's just got to tick those boxes."
Worsfold is into his fourth season as Essendon coach, having replaced James Hird at the helm in 2016.
Hird, during commentary of the Bombers' loss to the Saints, would not rule out a return to coaching.
However, when asked if he would entertain having Hird back at the club in an official capacity, Worsfold said it was not in prospect.
"No, I wouldn't, no," he said.
"That's not on the radar, not for discussion, in any way, shape or form right at this moment."