Friday, 17 January 2014

Attention turns to Watford and how to stop them

It was a horrible day back in August when the Hornets battered the Cherries in a second half goal scoring tornado that blew away AFCB's early game successes. While the game had been close up to half time, there were some serious questions to answer after letting in five second half goals. Ian Harte was looking off the pace at left back while the centre backs of Cook and Ward looked at sixes and sevens and our midfield kept giving the ball away, leaving the back door exposed.
Steve Cook has to be at his best if he is selected to try and stop Watford.
AFCB had to learn fast and while Huddersfield hit them for five Eddie Howe and his backroom team have worked hard with the players to dispel those early away game headaches. But what will Watford bring to the party this time at Dean Court? I don't think they are such a confident team as they were a few months ago. They will have been relieved to have beaten Bristol City in the FA Cup mid-week because it was looking like they couldn't buy a win. But they have great players and I doubt they view this as one of their hardest away games.

AFCB have to be mentally strong in this game. They can't dwell on the first time these teams met in the Championship. They have to go out an prove that they have come a long way and believe that at home they can use that advantage to beat even the best sides in the league. It will be crucial that our wide players have more of an impact in this match and press Watford back and are wary of them on their strikers on the break. The Cherries can match them in possession football and must be clinical when those chances come. If they put away the first chance I feel this is a game that the Cherries can certainly win. It would also be a good confidence booster at set the tone for home games in the second half of the season. Who knows where a good run could then take the Cherries.

With Lewis Grabban now effectively leaving the club for Brighton Eddie Howe could play with two up front, but in his interviews he seems to infer that one up front is a good option at the moment for the Cherries. If so I would expect Pitman to lead the line, while Rantie and McQuoid could be used as substitutes. If so Brett has to get about the field and link up well tomorrow with the midfielders. He can do it and yet I must admit losing Thomas and Grabban so quickly will have given Eddie Howe a conundrum to solve against Watford. The need for Coulibaly to get involved as well is surely something that the manager would like to have now.

Meanwhile, it is good to see that the club has acted quickly in bringing in Simon Weatherstone as first team coach to support Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall.  As predicted the Burnley connection has offered Eddie Howe the chance to bring in another highly rated coach for the first team. 

If you missed our talk with ForzaWatford this morning, make a beeline for Rival Lines.

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