Thursday, 12 December 2013

The standard has been set now for AFCB

The victory against Reading was a superb result for the AFCB lads. Now they know they have to follow it up with an equally good performance at home against Birmingham City. How easy will that be? Not so easy, but at least the players now know they have beaten a big team only a few days ago and that they can be a match for anyone. It is important that AFCB players do not feel pressured to perform at home and I am hoping that the Reading win enables them to play with a bit more freedom and belief in their ability to create chances at home and more importantly to take on shots.

It was the fact that all the players defended together so well against Reading that helped them to get the win. They closed down together and simply didn't allow the opposition to get into areas where they could hurt the Cherries. As long as the fans can be patient and raise their voices I'm optimistic that it should be another good day.
Back to back wins would be great for AFCB.
It is pleasing that the back four are now looking more settled as it was last season's promotion winning defensive line up at QPR and Reading. I think that has been an important factor even though Elliott Ward was playing well before his injury. The more players that AFCB can get used to playing in the Championship the better and Tommy Elphick is starting look more at home. The addition of Lee Camp in goal is also making the team more solid, although he will not have been pleased to let in an extra time goal at Reading. If AFCB can keep working hard to reduce the amount of work that Camp has to do then we will see that goal difference start to improve, because our team seems to have goals in it.

Eddie should play two up front for this game but he may well have more choice to select from now. While Grabban will be an expected starter, does he stick with Tokelo? I think it is a big decision whether to play him or Pitman as it will signal whether Eddie is confident with how things are going at home or if a change is required to give AFCB a better chance of getting the points. How that would effect Rantie is unknown, but all players will have times when they are not included. If McQuoid is also fit he would come into contention and Wes Thomas should also be upping his performance if he wants to make an impact this season with AFCB.  

I do think it would be harsh to drop Surman after his display last game and he linked so well with Grabban that it may be in Eddie's mind to keep him in the team instead perhaps of Rantie or Pitman. Who would you play up front in this game?

Earlier this morning we posted an interview with Birmingham website Often Partisan. You can see the interview now on Rival Lines.

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