Monday, 18 February 2013

Competition for places and home is support key for Cherries

While AFCB have not managed to build on going top of the division last week, the management is confident that the team can respond against the big challenges that are coming their way in the next few games. It is the defining part of the season when teams either go on a run to secure their place in the automatic and play-off positions or fall by the wayside. 

Where the Cherries are helped is in the strong squad that has now been assembled at Dean Court. For example, just take a look at the right wing position. There is going to be intense competition between Ritchie, McQuoid and Fogden for that place in the coming weeks and Ryan Fraser and Donal McDermott are further cover.

Of course the player that has been putting most of the crosses for the forwards to feed off on the right is Simon Francis, playing at right back. I must admit I wasn't always his biggest fan but he has made the right back place his own and continues to put a shift in every game. We have not been so fortunate recently at left back. Charlie Daniels is a big miss and it is a problem area, even if Ritchie played well there. Eddie Howe will I'm sure be working hard with Painter this week and Pugh in trying to get some under standing going. While Miles Addison has been out for a long while it would also help if he becomes available for selection again soon as this would give Eddie more options at the back, with perhaps Cook going to left back. Yes, I know Miles isn't everyone's cup of tea and there's no news of how he is doing yet.

With the side knowing that they can recover from defeats and with an unbeaten league home record that stretches back to the end of September, if you discount Wigan's victory in the FA Cup in January, there are reasons for Howe and Tindall to be confident that the Cherries can continue their push for promotion. It was Walsall who was the team to beat us last at home, if like me you had forgotten who it was. They have been a bit of a thorn in or side this season having done the double over the Cherries. Still the players will get over their recent defeat at Preston very quickly this week, because Eddie I'm sure won't allow it to play on their minds. They know three points is always massive at this stage of the season and that is the target now.

It's also down to the fans to help the team through this crucial period. Get any negative thoughts out of your head early this week, AFCB is still in a good position to challenge for honours. Sing up next Saturday. Our voices can give the Cherries confidence to go and beat Sheffield Utd, Coventry and Doncaster at home. We have to be up for these games as much as the players. We have to put these teams under pressure by supporting our team with real passion for 90 minutes and more - I for one expect to lose my voice at the Goldsands Stadium this month! I hope you do too.

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