September 23, 2022

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Essendon coach Ben Rutten says he “deserved better” following his treatment by the club, but maintains he still wants to keep his job for next season.

Rutten is contracted for 2023 but could be sacked after an Essendon board meeting later today, just days after the club’s botched attempt to lure now-North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson.

He was emotional in Essendon’s rooms after the 66-point loss to Richmond at the MCG on Saturday night, the result bringing down the curtain on the Bombers’ dismal season.

They won only seven of their 22 matches to finish in 15th place on the ladder, a season after making the finals under Rutten.

He said his treatment by the club during the week was “disappointing”, but he believed he could still mend bridges if handed a reprieve.

“I probably think I deserved better,” Rutten told a post-match media conference.

“As a club, we need to come together as a whole football club and we need to stick to a plan, put our heads down, bum up and do the work.

“There’s no other way. There’s no other way for this football club to get back to where it wants to be.”

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