Thompson wants Hird to stay coach in AFL

Mark Thompson fears for James Hird’s future as Essendon coach, saying there is a media groundswell for the AFL club to sack him.

Essendon’s season is in freefall and a review of the Bombers’ football department is underway.

Thompson was interim coach last year as Hird served his 12-month AFL suspension.

Once Hird returned, Thompson left the club after not reaching agreement with the Bombers on what his new role should be.

Thompson said the club should not be swayed by outside influences when deciding on Hird’s future.

“I don’t want them to be (Hird’s days to be numbered), but I think ultimately you (media) will get your mark,” he told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“There’s a groundswell, isn’t there, that happens.

“If Essendon were doing their job properly, they would say ‘you know what, we choose who coaches this football club, not anyone else’.

“If we want James to be coach, tell him, sign him up and go with him – it shouldn’t be controlled by anyone else.”

Thompson said on the weekend that the Bombers are drowning as the supplements saga continues.

The Bombers premiership captain admitted on Wednesday to falling out of love with Essendon, but denied he had a problem with any individuals at the club.

“The place is no better than it was,” Thompson said of the supplements saga.

“It’s three years, it’s been sitting idle.”

Thompson was animated in a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday night, saying many people should accept they had not behaved well during the supplements saga.

“They want James Hird to face up and … take responsibility,” said Thompson, who was an assistant coach during the 2012 supplements program at the club.

“They want me to do it and (club doctor) Bruce Reid, everyone.

“How about whoever has done something wrong in this, put their hand up – everyone.

“Who’s fault is it? It’s ours.

“The fact that we were allowed to do it and got away with it – who’s fault is that?”

Thompson also attacked a media report earlier this week that linked Geelong to controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank.

The two-time Cats premiership coach called the report a cheap shot.

“The story is we’ve done nothing wrong down there – at all,” he said.

“In fact we’ve actually probably shown the way to go forward … (which) Essendon should have done.

“(It was) fantastic compliance and governance – that’s the story.”

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