Saturday, 30 January 2016

Keeping unbeaten is key now

The Cherries might not have won against Sunderland, yet they didn't lose either. An away point is usually a good point in the Premier League and AFCB can take some solace in the fact that they have gone a couple of games unbeaten again.

The points are always important. A clean sheet was not possible this time but Eddie Howe will note that his back four restricted Sunderland to 10 shots. As an away team I'd say that was a solid performance and I am sure Sunderland will not have been pleased with that.
The Cherries will be trying to get that winning run going now.
The next three league games are ones where AFCB will have to be on top form to get more than a few points with Palace away and Arsenal and Stoke at home. But these three games where the team faces a different kind of pressure. While Eddie Howe will ask his team to try and win every game, not getting beaten will be very beneficial in any of these games. Being hard to beat is a great quality and no team is going to keep winning every game.

The Cherries' record against the bottom teams is not sensational but it is vital that they don't add any more defeats in the games to come against Swansea, Newcastle and Aston Villa. If they can remain unbeaten against those teams then they will be edging towards safety.

AFCB have now drawn seven games and some of those matches were drawn from very different positions. The Everton game is probably the most positive, followed by the away match at Leicester. Sunderland would probably fall into the bottom sector of draws along with the game against Swansea. Yet all of these matches have provided important points that should not be under valued.

As for remaining unbeaten, that challenge continues today in the cup against Portsmouth. The team need to be ready for a Pompey side who will come at them and try to unsettle them. There is nothing Pompey would like to do more than beat the Cherries even if they say it's not a derby. AFCB's stature has grown. The club is a Premier League side and while Pompey have a much bigger fan-base they will not like it if their team is out-classed at Fratton Park. But AFCB don't want to be heading to Selhurst Park having been knocked out of the cup. I'm going for a narrow 0-1 away win but what do you think? See you there - UTCIAD!

@SteveFletcher33 has a new role at the club - 1st Team coordinator. I expect we will hear more about that in the next few days.

Score Predictions
Can you guess the correct score line for Portsmouth v AFCB this weekend? Get your predictions in to @PeterBell19 on Twitter and follow. Entry is free and if more than one person has the correct score we pick the winner from a hat. The prize this week is an AFCB wristband.

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