Essendon coach Brad Scott has urged his players to let the "sick feeling" of a diabolical end to the season drive them into 2024.
The Bombers sat fifth after beating Adelaide in round 17, but only defeated bottom teams North Melbourne and West Coast to capitulate in the final seven weeks and crash out of finals contention.
Their 70-point smashing - 16.5 (101) to 3.13 (31) - by Collingwood on Friday night follows a 126-point hiding from Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium six days ago.
Scott, who took charge at Tullamarine in September last year, has thrown down the challenge to the club to lift.
"We need to improve our list, we need to improve our football department, we need to improve right across the board," Scott said.
"The recency bias is real. In a perverse way, the players leave with a sick feeling in their stomach and that should drive their off-season.
"The observations of the last nine-to-12 months is nowhere near where it needs to be, so we'll get that right."
Key players Jake Stringer, Sam Draper, Peter Wright, Jye Caldwell, Matt Guelfi and Jake Kelly all missed the clash with the Magpies with injury.
Stringer, especially, never got going this year after thoughts he could recapture his stunning form from the end of 2021.
Scott refuted suggestions the Bombers' problems stemmed from a lack of fitness.
"I don't think it's a fitness issue," he said.
"There's a difference between training hard, and I think everyone trains hard, to what an AFL lifestyle looks like.
"We need a bigger core group of leaders who can set the example for what the very best look like and what they train like.
"We have had it rammed home to us really clearly that there's a gap between us and the best sides and we have to take extraordinary measures to bridge that gap.
"If we just keep rolling along we'll just be an OK team that is capable of beating some teams on good days but get smacked by the good teams on bad days."