Thursday, 6 March 2014

Time to put a run together

We all knew that the Doncaster game was a biggie. A defeat or a draw would have still left a lot of question marks about how easy AFCB will find it to put some distance between them and the bottom teams. While three points on its own won't carry them that far away, the table certainly makes easier reading this compared to last week. Now the project starts to grow as Eddie Howe asks his players to get back-to-back wins with a big away performance at Blackpool.
AFCB players must be in confident mood as they head to Blackpool.
Again we know that this side has it in them to beat good teams away from home. Picking up points on the road has been one of the pleasing things about the team since November after a period when they had some difficult games early on in the season at new grounds. The Cherries have a way of playing away from home now that has given them some stability and something they can build on. I also think that the players like going to the big grounds as much as the supporters. Turning it on at big grounds is something that has given the players belief that they have arrived in the Championship and that they are good players. The final ingredient will be the consistency that Eddie Howe will want.

To be fair to the players, I believe they have been fairly consistent in their performances since early December and yet have not always got the results or shall I say the decisions that were merited. You kind of make your own luck in this game they say and it may just be that the Cherries are due some luck and a few wins to help them on their way. The team certainly can't relax yet, even if BBC's Tony Husband already says they'll be safe. There are several teams just below AFCB that are capable of putting runs together and it is important that the Cherries don't lose the momentum that has now been built up following the 5-0 thrashing of Doncaster. You can tell that I don't tire of saying that.

There was something extra that they found in the Doncaster game. Some will say Doncaster were poor, but AFCB did not let them get into their stride and to keep them completely quiet for 90 minutes was something that few other teams have done against them this season. The attacks from AFCB just kept coming and it is that kind of momentum that Bournemouth have to try and take into the coming games.

I have said that this team is capable of going through March unbeaten whether that is with a few or many wins and some draws along the way. One defeat can just as quickly shatter the feeling of invincibility, but I don't see AFCB shipping as many goals now and while they have some tough games against Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Leeds to come they are not teams that should cause any need for our players to doubt their abilities. The Cherries might not yet be dining at the top table in this division but they can start to swap seats with a few of the mid-table siblings that may have bigger names but are not playing as consistently as AFCB.

Looking at the standard they hit last Saturday they could be safe by the end of this month which would be a huge achievement. While you might say that is an ambitious target, it is only right that the team should be looking to do more than just scrape by and start to look at what they can achieve rather than worry about what everyone else is doing. If AFCB get the results then everything else will look after itself.

Check out the Rival Lines tab to hear John Campbell give his thoughts ahead of the Blackpool v AFCB match. Find out what he puts Blackpool's current slide in form down to.

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