Not much to be cheerful about: Essendon captain Jobe Watson and coach Mark Thompson leave the field after the game.

Not much to be cheerful about: Essendon captain Jobe Watson and coach Mark Thompson leave the field after the game. Photo: Getty Images

Despite being "horrible" for a long period in its fourth loss of the season, Essendon coach Mark Thompson forecast his side would improve rapidly after weathering the worst period of its draw for the year.

Thompson said, however, that he was troubled by his side’s inability to stop teams getting a run-on of goals against them after the Magpies booted nine unanswered goals – including six in 20 minutes in the second term – to undo the Dons’ strong early lead.

"It was a good start. I was pretty happy with the boys, the way they came back into the game in the end. We were very unlucky in the last quarter, but there was a period there when we were just horrible," he said.

"We just couldn't stop them kicking goals. It's become a bit of a problem and we'll work on it and hopefully get better."

Thompson admitted frustration that players said the right things about addressing the run-on of goals, but that did not translate on the ground.

"We are not happy with it. We are going to deal with it; it is something we should be able to stop. If you get some directions in a game to try and change it, you should be able to do it," he said. "They see it, they talk about it, but they don’t carry it out. It’s a work in progress."

Thompson said the team had been forced to work through the most difficult period of its fixture and would now improve.

"As a club we looked at our draw and clearly the worst part of our draw was the first six rounds, so we have got that done now. We can actually start training the players now, we have not trained the players for four weeks. Not really trained, any substance, match play maybe once, not even for a long period of time.

"It’s out the way, we are happy it’s out the way, we are going to start training again and we will start playing better footy because of the training and the draw."

Essendon was depleted with creative utility Brendon Goddard, first ruck Tom Bellchambers and chief tagger Heath Hocking all missing, along with powerful midfielder David Myers. Bellchambers, Hocking and Myers should all come in next week.

After putting forward Jake Carlisle on notice last week that he was close to being dropped, Thompson said he would persist with the forward despite a lean match when he did not hit the scoreboard and had just eight disposals.

"You just know people. I know Jakey and I back my own ability to persevere with it. Jake was better today than he was last week," Thompson said.

"When you lose, everyone just puts pressure on the forwards. We're here to coach and Jakey has got the ability and characteristics to be a forward and he can play there.

"And if he wants to play, this year anyway, he's going to play there."

Thompson said he was also happy with the form of young forward Joe Daniher. "We've been happy with his output even if it's not as good as everybody expects because he's not kicking goals or not taking marks, all that sort of stuff.

"As a football club we actually take the reverse position, we actually try to nurture them and help them and guide them through."