Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Is the Championship such a big challenge?

Planning for next season is now in full swing at AFC Bournemouth. Only Crystal Palace and Watford await their fate when it comes to arranging the new fixtures and league line ups.The leap from League One to the Championship is said to be one of the biggest in terms of skill on the pitch, so what are the main challenges that Eddie Howe and his team face in the coming season?

1.The first priority has to be to make Dean Court a fortress in home games. If we can't win at home we will suffer the fate of Bristol City in very quick fashion.

2. Resilience is a quality we must harness. Whether the team gets ahead in a game or needs to find something to get back into it AFCB has to get that steel that defines the consistent teams from the rest.

3. Enjoy our football. If there are smiles on faces, no fear and belief in ability, AFCB can upset the best teams in the Championship. Many of our players have longed for a chance to pit themselves against higher competition, now they have that chance they should enjoy the experience.

4. There will be defeats, some of them may be heavy. Hey, Cardiff even found Peterborough too good for them. We have to accept that it won't be our day sometimes, but not get too down about it.

5. The team that goes out to represent AFCB each game must see just 11 opposition players in front of them. They have to forget they are playing Leeds Utd, Middlesborough or Blackburn Rovers. It's not the names and reputations that get the 3 points, but the best 11 players and subs and the tactics used on the day. We can't play against history or tradition.

6. Finances will be against us compared to most of the other teams, but we can build on a good season.

7. Cherry supporters need to sing as well as we did when Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall first returned to the club. The opposing fans are likely to be bigger than we have had in League One on average and it's up to us to make ourselves heard and be that 12th man.

8. Eddie Howe has to find a couple of players to compliment the squad and take it forward without upsetting the mould that we already have. We also have to try and keep our star players.

9. We are going to need goal scorers. A 20 goal a season man is a must, but the best teams have great strike partnerships.

10. Aim for the top. It's no good us just aiming to jog along and scrape in 21st in the league. While I don't want us to overspend, on the pitch AFCB has to look to hit top form right from the start unlike last season.

All easy to say I hear you say. Bringing it all together is going to be difficult when lot of other distractions will be happening around the club everyday, but I wouldn't want any other management team to guide this group of players - I can't wait.

The fixtures for the 2013/14 season are announced on 19 June 2013 at 9.00am  UTCIAD!

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