Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Cherries must be wary of bottom team banana skins

If any of you thought that playing Charlton and Barnsley would be six points in the bag, you will have already come unstuck. This is the perennial time of the season when most of the stats and form predictions might as well be thrown out of the window. For the bottom teams in the Championship just like in the other leagues the chance to grab three points from any one is something that they just must try and do if they are to survive. 

You could tell that in the match against Charlton. While the Addicks still have some games in hand a few defeats would put them in real danger of the drop and at home they needed to make every advantage they had count. That included a last extra time barrage of effort to try and get more than a point against a Cherries side that was not able to hold out in the end for one reason or anther.

Going to Oakwell will be a similar experience for our players. They will know that if they can get the first goal then the match is likely to work out their way with the amount of pressure these sides are currently under, but even that is not a given factor for a win. Charlton could well have fell apart if Bournemouth had taken the lead in the first half hour of the game when they were far superior but deserving a goal is not the same as getting one. At least our players have recently experienced that losing feeling and it won't be sitting comfortably with them.
Tommy Elphick will hope to lead the Cherries to victory at Oakwell.
I don't feel that the Cherries were complacent or overly tired but they were a little in disciplined in the way they went about stopping Charlton. Eddie Howe will be looking to see less opportunities given to Barnsley when they come forward than we saw against Charlton. AFCB recorded 17 fouls against Charlton compared with the 13 that the Addicks had, and yet only Elphick picked up a yellow card for Bournemouth while Charlton received four cards. That would indicate that most of Bournemouth fouls were niggly and minor  infringements but ones that give these lower teams a platform to go forward and pose a threat on goal. 

Barnsley will be no less desperate than Charlton were and with a strong home backing behind them you can see why Eddie Howe sees these games a tricky ones, because they have nothing to lose and might as well go for it if they are still in the game with 10 minutes to go. Even when AFCB have played Barnsley they still have Yeovil and Millwall to negotiate when it is perhaps a better time to play a mid-table team. One thing is certain, AFCB will play a part in who stays up and who goes down with matches against all of the bottom four in reasonably quick succession at the latter part of the season. Let's hope for a strong performance today, we don't want the season to fizzle out. UTCIAD!

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Cherry Chimes talks to  On the Ponty End. Just visit Rival Lines to see how Barnsley are shaping up for the match on Saturday.

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