Essendons fourth win from their past five outings has kept the door slightly ajar for the Bombers to make a unexpected finals appearance this season.
They wouldnt be the first team to push in to the final eight from a 6-7 record.
While coach John Worsfold knows that a team above them on the ladder is going to need to slip up for his side to see September action, he has put those teams on notice that his Bombers are up for the challenge if they do.
After beating West Coast by 28 points at Optus Stadium on Thursday night, the Bombers still need another seven or maybe eight victories to compete for a finals position. They have nine games remaining.
“Belief is pretty strong. When we are playing our best footy, we can compete with the best teams in the comp,” he said.
“Our chances of making the eight are less than the teams already in the eight. They have to do less to make it than we do. But they have to do it.
“We've got to do our part, which is keep winning games.
“I'm not into the odds, but we're going to have a crack at improving our footy. We want to become a great team.
“We want to become a team that is capable of winning the premiership.”
But those odds arent ridiculously bad. Of the six AFL season played with 18 teams, three have seen team recover from a 6-7 start to play finals.
Sydney did it last year; winning 14 games to finish in sixth spot; North Melbourne finished with 13 victories to scrape in to eighth spot in 2015 and ended up playing in a preliminary final; and Fremantle went on a role in 2012 to end the season on 14 wins and in seventh place.
It would be a massive effort for the Bombers to follow them, after losing six of their first eight games of this season. Three of those losses were to teams who are unlikely to play finals – the Bulldogs, Carlton and the Dockers. And three came after leading at half-time – to Hawthorn, the Blues and Melbourne.
It could end up being a “what if” season for the Bombers. But Worsfold is confident that something is building within the club.
“We are seeing a lot of improvement across the board – even our young midfielders like (Andrew) McGrath and (Matt) Guelfi and playing their roles,” he said.
“They are still learning about how they are playing alongside some of those more senior mids.
“Hopefully well take that momentum in to next week, that's the main focus. We've made things pretty tough through a scratchy period and early in the season, but we are building better form; better chemistry.”
Mason Redman (ankle), Josh Green (foot) and Jake Stringer (leg) left Perth wounded on Thursday night, but have a few extra days to prove their fitness, with their next game, against North Melbourne, not until next Sunday.
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