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Time of truth for Bombers

MELBOURNE: The once-mighty Esscndon, VFL premier in 1984-85, faces oblivion this year unless it can pull oiT a win on Saturday over high-rolling Footscray.

Although so much rides on the outcome for the Bombers, they are trying to avoid a build-up of pressure by approaching the match as if it were any other.

"We've just been doing normal training ses sions and we arc reasonably confident we can do all right," Esscndon team manager Kevin Egan said yesterday.

"If we win we are right back in the hunt but if we lose we are out of it".

The Bombers' campaign to stay in touch with the five would receivc a big boost if it could overcome the in-form Bulldogs at home at West

ern Oval.

The side is only a game and a half outside, while Footscray's run of six runs on end has it at fourth spot on the ladder.

Egan said the main danger area for Esscndon would be the performance of Footscray's tearaway

small men.

Players such as North Melbourne rejects Tony Liberatore, Angelo Petraglia and Brian Royal have been in devastating form in the Bulldogs' recent wins.

The Bombers have been continually hamstrung

by injur}' problems, but Footscray, after a disas- j trous beginning to the season in which it lost its |

first three matches by a total of 42 goals, has consolidated into one of the most dangerous sides in the league.