Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Cherries didn't want to come unstuck

This is the most difficult pint of the season for any team. The league has taken its shape and the need for wins is crucial because any slip ups seem magnified as everything is so tight at the top. I am pleased to say I have not wanted to check every game that Derby, Ipswich or Middlesbrough have coming up as it is all about AFCB now and the performances they put in. That is the beauty of being top of the league.
Okay, no new signings but the squad
has stayed together for a promotion push.
When we get down to the last 10 matches is when Willo traditionally says he looks at the table to see where AFCB might finish. I suspect that he might have already had a sneaky look and I don't blame him for that. The pressure on the players though is high enough. They know exactly where they are and how close they are to creating something very special. It's up to them to make it come true and I think the recent defeats against Leeds and Norwich City have refocused their mental drive to be on it for every game now. The players have seen their league lead come down to goal difference but they'll soon have more chance to widen the gap when they take on Derby at home.

The table could have looked much different had Watford won at Dean Court last Friday. The gap to seventh place is something that Willo said was important, as like all AFCB fans we are always looking at worst scenario first and the team has to try and be sure to at least get at a play-off spot. A few months ago that would have seemed unthinkable for such a club as ours, and yet now six place and a chance to go up through the play-offs is not something that we quite see as the main aim now. By the way Willo, you are busted if you know how many points clear of seventh place AFCB are!

It is the home form that needed to see an improvement for the Cherries, and now that it has I sincerely hope that some wins against the main rivals near the top of the table will see AFCB over that winning line come 3 May.

While some fans will be disappointed that no signings were made apart from Artur Boruc in the January window the important fact is that none of the first team squad was the subject of interest from other clubs and now the squad can concentrating on achieving what they want to this season. It would have been great to add some momentum with a key new signing like Demaria Gray, but sometimes a new player can spoil the balance what you already have. Somehow I imagine that the large amount of money being banded about could also be put towards some important ground improvements over the summer instead. The loan window opens in a week as well so there is plenty of options for Eddie Howe if they are needed.

Finally, let's hope that Eunan O'Kane recovers quickly after sustaining ligament damage in the Watford game.

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