Essendon coach John Worsfold says Bombers fans need to be patient with big-name recruit Jake Stringer, who is still finding his feet at his new AFL club.
Ahead of Sunday's meeting with Stringer's former club the Western Bulldogs, Worsfold said the former All Australian was a work in progress.
The big-bodied forward impressed in his Bombers debut in their win over grand finalists Adelaide, but looked a little lost as they fell to Fremantle in round two. He was unable to kick a goal in either match.
But Worsfold defended the 23-year-old, who was still adjusting to his new role which included spending time in the midfield, where he trained on Thursday.
"I think Jake's going OK," Worsfold said on Thursday.
"We're really pleased with his attitude and how he's embracing learning the way we want to play and his role.
"I reckon we're going to see improvement, week in, week out, over a long period of time from Jake.
"He's going to do some spectacular stuff at times because that's the type of player he is, but we want him to just play his role and do the basics consistently for us and be part of the way our team wants to play."
Worsfold said his team wanted to respond strongly to their 16-point loss to the Dockers, which was disappointing after shocking the Crows.
"As a team, we were pretty disappointed last week and we didn't play at the level we want to play," Worsfold said.
"We've got an idea of the way we want to play and the way we want to structure up and we believe that will work against any team in the comp if we play with the intensity we're looking for."
Star defender Michael Hurley missed most of training but the Bombers believed he would be a starter against the Bulldogs.
Australian Associated Press