Saturday, 7 December 2013

AFCB look to bounce back against Reading

Put yourself in Eddie Howe's position and it is hard to imagine changing the strategy too much from the last game when taking on a similar top team in the shape of Reading away from home. Yes the personnel may be swapped a bit to freshen things up and to try and bring a bit of energy in to the team, but in general the players we have at the club have to dig themselves out of the lowly league position AFCB now find themselves in.

Hearing Tokelo Rantie speak on Cherries Player you get the feeling that the players know they owe the manager especially a result. The players will also get the backing from more than 2000 travelling fans who are going to sing with great passion. A win would set AFCB up for a big Christmas period and it would give them confidence after what has been a very difficult run of games.

On the left wing it seems almost a flip of a coin at the moment whether Pugh or Fraser start. In the Brighton game I felt Fraser fell to the floor rather more often than he should if he had tried to withstand some of the challenges. I have forgotten the amount of times I saw him sat of the floor with his hands aloft appealing to the referee. I would rather he got head down and kept going for as long as possible and took the challenge, but then I am not getting kicked every week. Still I want him to get a few more decisions when he is fouled. Pugh on the other hand, was reasonably involved in the QPR match but did not get enough crosses in for me, so I suspect Eddie may go with Fraser who played well at Loftus Road.

Fraser and Ritchie could be starters for the Reading game.

I have already said that Grabban should be the one to play up front, while Nico Yennaris is an interesting one as I am sure he has not come down to the south coast just to spectate. I did think for once that Surman did enough at QPR to keep his place, but I want much more from a former Premiership player. I am hoping that Arter is strong enough to play his third game in seven days, but rotation could see MacDonald or O'Kane used.

Where Eddie seems less wanting to make a change is at the back. This is perhaps showing that the squad is not deep enough, because AFCB continue to ship goals even with the best defenders they have available. There is not much more Eddie and Jason can do apart from work with the players they have. A draw would be a good result, even though AFCB and us fans want all three. Another defeat though is the bookies choice and if that happens it heaps more pressure on the following three games in the Christmas period and AFCB daren't lose those matches to teams just below them. The way we are playing though gives me confidence that things will pick up and that win is all the team needs to go on a good run.

A bit of Christmas joy is really what needs to be served up now for AFCB supporters. UTCIAD!

I am also pleased to hear that there will be a minutes applause for Nelson Mandela before the game, which I am sure every one will take part in. It may be that AFCB  have two South African's in our starting eleven and if so I hope it inspires them.

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