Friday, 28 February 2014

How can Eddie turn performing well into winning ways?

It's been a hard last couple of weeks for AFCB. The team has been playing well without really picking up the points. You wonder how some teams manage to win without playing well. Those teams are often at the top of the league because the winning habit is just ingrained in them. That doesn't help AFCB though. Our fans want a team that wins and picks up points on the road as well as at home, but you can't say the Cherries have been unlucky every week.
AFCB at Reading earlier in the season.
At the end of the season you tend to be where you should be give or take a place or two. The Cherries are not yet a top 10 Championship team but as work in progress they are doing very nicely to be honest. There are teams in worse positions in the Championship and some of them have not come close to pushing the top teams. AFCB have put pressure on Derby, Leicester and Burnley and while they only received one point from those matches you can't say the Cherries were outplayed or soundly beaten. The problem is us fans don't want to be hearing how close the team was to beating one of the big teams. Aspirations are still high and I think that is important for a club that wants to grow and succeed year upon year.

Steve McClaren knew exactly how good the Cherries were and he was not expecting an easy contest last weekend.

Steve McClaren pre-AFCB match at the iPro stadium.

So what does Eddie Howe need to do different to get the wins on the board? I don't really think there is much going wrong. Yes, AFCB need to start accumulating some clean sheets. Taking opportunities at the other end is always going to be difficult in the Championship as well, but as soon as AFCB get a win it is likely to spark further results.

They have a great opportunity against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday and it's a game that now becomes extremely important not to lose. AFCB don't want to be giving encouragement to those below them and it is vital that Eddie has a full strength side to take on Rovers. At home Bournemouth are now very strong and that is how it must remain for the team for the rest of the season. The home crowd has to make it uncomfortable for opposition teams by making a din all game long. Most of the big tests are out of the way now and it is important that the Cherries don't take their eyes off the prize of another season in this league. The wins have not come against the big teams but they have to come against the strugglers.

It is the final third of the pitch where the passing seems to go astray and now it is important that it clicks. Rantie must try and up his shot rate, forwards have to gamble on Ritchie's crosses and passing in an around the opposition's box must be crisper. If AFCB can just get things right in the final third they will get their rewards. At home there is no reason for the shot count to be low and if you shoot you can get deflections and rebounds that create goals, just look what happened for Olympiakos this weekend and their first goal against Man Utd. I want to see more work in the last third of the pitch and I believe Eddie Howe will have been drumming that into his players this week.  Let's give them all the support we can, because these home games can take the Cherries to safety.

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