Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Elphick will hope he gets the chance to put things right

Tommy Elphick did not have a happy return to the team with the two goal defeat to Bolton. Still he will hope that he showed enough of a performance to stay in the starting eleven for the next game against Burnley. I don't think Tommy made many mistakes on what was a fairly quiet afternoon, although some will say that he could have done better when facing Jermaine Beckford in extra time, when Bolton's second goal was scored.

Elphick wanted to give a big captain's performance
 but there was no clean sheet against Bolton.
Eddie has a difficult decision to make for the next game.
 Does he keep Tommy in the starting line up?
At least we got to see Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick playing together again. I think the Blackburn game was the last time they both started, although Cook was at left back then with Ward partnering Elphick at the centre back.

Sadly for Elphick the Bolton match did not go according to plan. The first goal came after a pass from Lee that split himself and Cook to find Ngog, although the big mistake was probably an error up field that enabled Lee to have the space on the left wing with Francis trailing behind him. All these teams need is a yard head start and with a good delivery you soon find yourself one-nil down. They may seem minor errors, but AFCB are being punished every time their shape is not quite correct.

Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall will surely be working all the time with the back four and even more so with Lee Camp's introduction. Somehow they need to find away of getting clean sheets. Merely blocking out the opposition is not Eddie Howe's style though. He wants to compete and get as many wins as he can to get AFCB up the table.

Whatever formation AFCB play they have been letting in goals and some of them have been soft goals. I can't help thinking that the team is losing the ball in the wrong areas of the pitch at times which is putting our defenders on the back foot. But at home the team has to be expressive and play in a way that is capable of getting results. We have had a lot of changes in personnel at the back, but the goals have still been going in against the Cherries. If AFCB's luck is to change there needs to be plenty of consistency in our back four and lots of work on the training ground to get the offside trap right.

Eliott Ward will be back in contention to play after serving his suspension and Eddie Howe now has a decision to make as to which players make the best centre back pairing. Steve Cook was voted man of the match for the Bolton game, although I did not think it was his best game of the season and even he will feel under pressure if Tommy Elphick can show his qualities on the training pitch this week.

On another note it was good to hear that Joe Partington has managed to make a 60 minute comeback in a Cherries XI against Oxford.  

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