Essendon coach John Worsfold concedes his side were nervous in their 11-point loss to St Kilda, but is confident his winless AFL club can turn their fortunes around.
The Bombers were booed off the ground repeatedly at Marvel Stadium on Saturday as they slumped to another sorry defeat the start the season.
While this display wasn't as dire as their round one thumping by GWS Giants, their first home match of the season was circled by all and sundry as a win - and they failed to deliver.
Club great Matthew Lloyd was flummoxed while commentating for 3AW, calling their first half performance "non-existent".
"It's hard to know what their brand is right now. It's a real concern," he said.
Lloyd was equally unimpressed with their last-quarter effort, saying the club "just don't have an ability to score".
Former coach and player James Hird agreed on Triple M radio, questioning their ball use into the forward line.
Worsfold conceded riding routes to goal without spearhead Joe Daniher was "a really big challenge".
He was eager to point out the improvement around the contest, with the Bombers winning the contested ball and the clearances.
"We certainly addressed what we felt was unacceptable last week but it wasn't good enough to win a game tonight.
"We asked the players to back themselves in today. They played a bit inhibited last week.
"Coming off last week's game - there's no doubt they had heightened nervousness maybe and maybe a lack of confidence, but they tried to take the game on.
"They messed up some things. I'd rather see that than not looking like they're getting into a contest like last week."
Worsfold said paying punters had the right to boo but they should know it wasn't helpful.
"I hope our supporters understand our players are disappointed. They don't need to be booed to feel disappointed," he said.
"But that's everyone's right. So we'll cop that."
Australian Associated Press