Jobe Watson says he understands if Essendon supporters aren’t proud of his team after the Bombers’ 110-point capitulation to St Kilda.
The popular captain endured rather than enjoyed his 200th game for the Bombers on Sunday.
In Essendon’s worst loss in nine years, a young St Kilda side ran rampant from first bounce to final siren.
There were few decent performers in the Bombers team and Watson (eight disposals, seven tackles) wasn’t one of them.
Sent to the forward line as part of James Hird’s plan to give his attack more experience, Watson was starved of the ball and didn’t impact the match.
“We’re playing a poor brand of footy and particularly today, the effort wasn’t there when you’d expect,” Watson said.
“Most times when you walk off the ground and you feel like you’ve given good effort and you’ve lost, you can feel like supporters might be proud.
“I didn’t feel like that today.”
Dyson Heppell (31 disposals, two goals), who had ten more touches than anyone else on his team, was one of the few to stand up in Watson’s milestone match.
Heppell said he couldn’t recall a worse team performance.
“Jobe’s stood up for us time and time again in remarkable situations and as a team we really wanted to honour him,” he said.
“It’s one of the most disappointing games I’ve been a part of … we didn’t bring our effort or intent”.
Heppell also bristled at suggestions that Hird had `lost the dressing room’.
“We love Hirdy,” he said.
“We love having hirdy around we have so much respect for the man.
“This is about the players we’re all in this together once again. We need to get through this period.”
Watson was also adamant the blame should not fall on Hird.
“The heat comes on everyone at some point,” he said.
“The effort wasn’t there from the playing group .. as players, you can’t hide from that, as the captain of the club I can’t hide from that.”