Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Smith still has to keep his cool

Eddie Howe was very kind in his words on Adam Smith after the Millwall game. The replacement right back for Simon Francis stepped into the starting line up in the position where I think many of us had expected him to play for the Cherries when he was signed back in January. This was his first go there though since his first period with the Cherries and he showed his tackling abilities and speed to good effect, but towards the end of the first half the challenges were flying a bit and Adam Smith was certainly on the end of one or two of them having been an ex-Millwall player. That probably led to him going in a bit madly on Alan Dunne and he of course saw yellow.
Adam will certainly remember his latest trip to The Den.

Towards the end of that half I did think things were getting dangerous and the referee had let a lot go when some earlier cards might have slowed things down. Eddie Howe was not taking any chance though and subbed Adam Smith on half time when perhaps he might have let him play longer if the game situation had been different. With AFCB needing a goal though Eddie turned to Simon Francis to power up the right wing and it is perhaps Eddie Howe's feeling that going forward Francis still is superb at getting to the byline to pull back crosses and Smith wasn't able to make that impact in this game.

Adam has been tried in various positions now and it is perhaps questionable where he is best used. It is proving difficult to see where exactly AFCB will get the best benefit out of him, but Eddie will be looking to see if Adam can play a bigger role next season.

Whether Adam was targeted or not by Millwall's players he has to keep his head at Championship level and I think Eddie Howe did the right thing on the day, just like the decision to leave Lewis Grabban at home.

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