Hardwick to critics: We’re a good side

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Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is adamant the club’s best football is still ahead of it despite losing its last four games.

The Tigers will meet Essendon at the MCG in the annual Dreamtime at the G’ clash celebrating the contributions of Indigenous players in football.

Despite sitting seventh on the ladder, Richmond has become the laughing stock of the competition after losing its last three games by less than a goal, squandering leads against Western Bulldogs, Fremantle and GWS.

Essendon has found form in the past few weeks, and one of the competition’s best defenders, Alex Rance will get a chance to face Bomber gun forward Joe Daniher who kicked 26 goals this year.

But Mr Hardwick said: “We’re playing some good footy, we’re just not quite getting the result.” 

“Unfortunately you don’t get rewarded for great effort, our boys are confident with the style and brand of footy they’re playing that we can’t take out to any side.

“Emphasised in the past weeks that the sides we’ve played are better sides than most people would give them credit for.”

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Mr Hardwick also said the club’s best football was still in front of it.

“We’re happy with that part of our game… We can play a hell of a lot better I think,” he said.

“Our connection inside 50 will improve. We’ve got a relatively inexperienced forward line most weeks so that’ll take some time but we’re encouraged each week we play we see more signs of that coming out the longer we play.

“We had 61 inside 50s (last week) we just couldn’t kick a winning score.”

All teams are still fighting to make finals and Essendon will be looking to back up its 61-point win over West Coast last week.

Mr Hardwick said the closeness of the competition was adding to its excitement. 

“It is a close season no doubt, you look at the evenness of the competition, the footy tips people keep speaking about,” he joked.

“How hard it is for people to pick winners on a weekly basis, you look at Geelong V Port Adelaide, it can be a flip of the coin. You just need to make most of your chances and unfortunately we haven’t done that.

“We think we’re a good footy side, indicators provide a high template where we can win games. We’re never going to win games by 10 goals but we’re going to be competitive in all games we play.”

Header Photo taken off Richmondfc.com.au

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