Thursday, 19 September 2013

Pugh needs to keep scoring to earn his place

With all the incoming players and others trying to return to fitness, the selection of all positions has become very competitive. There are no automatic selections any more, from what I can see, and Eddie Howe will reward those players who have performed well with a continued run in the team. If he dips into the loan market, as has been anticipated, then you can expect even more pressure on places.
Pugh! Is what we like to cheer.
For Marc Pugh it has been an okay start to his Championship career. He has not been in spectacular form, but he has a habit of popping up with the odd goal which is absolute gold dust for the Cherries. He has already headed in against Huddersfield and picked up a second goal against Barnsley, who he dedicated to Laura and his new daughter Grace. The Barnsley goal has been under sold a bit. Marc still had plenty to do when the ball came to him in the box, but his quickness of feet enabled him to beat his man before thundering a powerful shot that gave the keeper ho chance.
Marc is up to his old tricks - he just loves scoring.
While Pugh will come under pressure from not only Josh McQuiod, but also Mohamed Coulibaly, Ryan Fraser and Andrew Surman, he may not find that he is really tested for a place until Matt Ritchie regains his full fitness. At that point Ritchie will certainly be looking to get into the team and could play on the right wing, but Ryan Fraser would be hard to drop at the moment unless Howe decides that having Marc in the team with his goal record is a slightly stronger option. If Pugh had been subbed for McQuoid towards the end of the Barnsley game AFCB could have been back on 10 points.

There is also the prospect of Coulibaly or McQuoid doing well if they get their chance, which would see them get a run in the starting eleven. Marc has been ever present in the starting line up with only one sub appearance, but he surely knows that he has to keep working hard now to keep his place. Last season we did not really have that intensity of competition in depth and it is something that may be behind some of the injuries the players are picking up in training.

As long as Marc keeps banging in the goals though, Eddie Howe will be loathed to drop the dad, with two young girls, who is no doubt enjoying his long awaited chance in the Championship.

Matt Ritchie is said to have had another setback and may have to go abroad to see a specialist while there are also injury doubts over Charlie Daniels (heel) and Shaun MacDonald (hip), while also out for the Middlesbrough game are likely to be Coulibaly, Arter and Surman.

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