Essendon isn't counting on a wave of emotion carrying it to an upset victory in tonight's AFL season-opener against Adelaide.
Coach James Hird says the anti- doping investigation has had its benefits, forcing the Bombers to bond tighter and become mentally tougher.
But he doesn't plan on funnelling six weeks of emotion into the AAMI Stadium clash.
"Certainly we're after a win. That's what we're hopeful the outcome is," Hird said yesterday.
"But we want to play a certain style and I think for our boys it's about football and how they play."
He doesn't care what sort of reception the Adelaide crowd or players deliver.
"What they say is irrelevant to us. We want to get out there and play football," Hird said.
Adelaide too are glad to turn the spotlight on-field, after an off-season in which they lost Kurt Tippett and copped heavy penalties for draft tampering and salary cap rorting.
"We're really looking forward to playing games and putting everything behind us," Crows midfielder Rory Sloane said.
Those problems were overshadowed by Essendon's supplement scandal.
But while the Bombers might face severe consequences, Hird said there had been an upside.
"I've just seen the players really come together as a group ... I think they understand how important each other are to each of them and look after each other just a little bit more," he said.
The resolve they've shown to train consistently well amid the scrutiny should also help them when the pressure is fiercest in games this season, Hird expects.