Thursday, 23 January 2020

The confidence returned quickly for the Cherries

Bournemouth didn't find it easy against Brighton. They were shackled for the first 20=30 minutes and looked second best, but by getting the first goal, Bournemouth grabbed the game and started to believe in themselves. The second goal before half-time was great timing and it helped the team settle down and have a clear plan for what they needed to do second half.
Eddie has a bit more purpose in his stride now.
We have seen Bournemouth be nervous when they have had to hold out in games and the second 45 minutes would be a long time to try and hold out the clean sheet. While Brighton did get a goal, the pleasing thing was it didn't rattle the players. The players were focused on what they had to do. For once they were in the controlling position and could decide when to play and when to play safe.
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The other comment I'll make about the confidence is that it all came from the pressing and high work rate. It is what Watford did to Bournemouth and by working hard, Bournemouth gave Brighton no time on the ball and panicked them into mistakes. It was great to see and I wonder why the players have done this in this game, but couldn't manage it in others. To me it is a sign that the players have not been fit enough and now are finally getting back to where they want to be in terms of physical condition.

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The team know now that they are just one win away from getting out of the bottom three. If they can get those points against Aston Villa at home in a few days time, it will really set the team up to do their best to keep above the bottom three. But the win against Brighton is only a first step. It shouldn't have taken so long for the team to click again, but they have shown that they want to stay in this league and now they perhaps, for the first time, are showing the fight for the task ahead.

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