Sunday, 19 October 2014

Pugh's hard running is creating chances

Marc Pugh is being pushed for his place in the team more now than at any other point in his career I believe. His response has been to knuckle down and provide the kind of service that Callum Wilson and others can profit from. You don't see quite so many fancy turns, it's more a case of beat your man and get the cross in - and it really paid off on Saturday.
Pugh's zippy wing play is providing chances for AFCB's strikers.
The goal against Charlton showed the strength and acceleration of Pugh as well as his ability to find Callum Wilson in space. Pugh put in a great number of crosses on Saturday and his work rate demonstrated that he was a good choice for a starting place. For once Marc was also allowed to have the full 90 minutes and in the second half, when he ran up besides the Family stand, we did not see any drop off in performance. He still managed to win a fair few corners and by doing so kept the pressure on Charlton in those closing minutes.

Had Marc been a bit more fortunate in the first half he might have got on the end of one of Francis' crosses as well. Still it was a performance that had me pondering if it is more important for Pugh to keep getting to that byline and pulling back low crosses rather than hitting so many deep high balls into the box? There were only a few headed attempts on goal and those mainly came from Steve Cook, who launched himself at corners and set pieces trying to build on AFCB's lead. We know that AFCB like to play the ball on the ground and when the team has two sharp finishers in and around the box like Wilson and Pitman, it would make sense to me for Pugh and Ritchie to try and whip as many low balls back to these two as possible, when wingers are racing down to the byline.

The amount of space that Wilson was afforded in the box is all that he needed to turn a good cross into a goal. It's a split second of thought to make that movement and to redirect the pass towards goal and the speed of Bournemouth's attack, from Pugh's actions, made the goal look very simple. That AFCB only managed to score once though probably proves that it is not so simple to do and Pugh's ability to beat his man has once again opened the door for the win. So while we recognise Wilson's great finish, don't forget that Pugh was instrumental in getting the win against Charlton. 

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