Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Cherries hit the wall in the Championship race

The Cherries have had a good run up until February, but questions are being asked about the depth of the squad and the lack of strengthening at the crucial point of the season. A present run of four games without a win has seen the Cherries topple from first to fourth and if anyone was in any doubt it is clear that it will not be an easy ride to get an automatic promotion or play-off place. The Cherries now have company and they have to show real character now.

The defeat at Nottingham Forest last night was gruelling because the team was not clinical in front of goal and were unable to keep the ball out of their own net when Forest had time to plan their attacks from set plays. There were some good points in that the flowing football was back right from the start and the early goal came, but the second goal did not come on a night that really shook the Cherries' resolve to keep pressure up on other teams around them. The second goal was right on half time again and AFCB are struggling to turn games around once they fall behind.
The Cherries have to get organised.
Artur Boruc did not have a bad game and was not overly busy, but the back four did not find the level of performance that they needed against a clever Forest team who as soon as they did get ahead, shut up shop. Whether Eddie Howe looks to find something to add to the Cherries game or not gong forward what the team must find is a way to stop the goals going in. Concentration levels are just not high enough when set pieces arrive and it is like shooting yourself in the foot when that happens so regularly. It's costly and AFCB are really paying now.

Looking at the table though, the Cherries are still in contention.  If there were such a thing as a wall in this Championship marathon, the Cherries must have hit it. But there is no time to reflect too deeply, the next game is coming up on Saturday. They need to wise up fast though because the teams they face at home in Blackburn and Wolves are going to have seen how fragile AFCB are at times and that is now a cause for concern.

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