Bournemouth 1-1 Town
Kermogant (16), Vaughan (65)
3:00pm Saturday 14th February 2015
(451) Smithies; Smith, Hudson, Wallace, Robinson; Edgar, Coady, Butterfield, Scannell, Bunn; Vaughan
Can see Powell going defensive for this one, and after Tuesday nights hammering at the hands of Wolves who can blame him? I would have thought we'd return to a packed midfield and a lone striker in an attempt to stifle the free scoring Cherries. Will it work? Probably not.
Bournemouth 3 - 0 Town
Know Your Enemy
If you didn't know already, throughout this season, Thrice Champions will be getting the views of opposition fans, bloggers and podcasters so you know the story behind the club they know so much about.
Ahead of our away tie against high flying Bournemouth, we spoke to Peter Bell who runs the AFC Bournemouth blog Cherry Chimes.
Here's what he had to say to our questions...
TC: How surprised are you to see Bournemouth still competing for automatic promotion?
PB: Well it’s been a great season for our supporters and when you look at the league table these days we are perhaps coming to terms with the fact that AFC Bournemouth really do have a good team now. The jump in expectations has been massive and there is a real feeling that the players can do this now as they have spent some time at the top of the division. There is also confidence in the squad which has seen players being rotated for cup games. Every match is a big game now and the fans are being treated to some great football under Eddie Howe.
TC: Is the current position down to the investment that has gone into club or would that be doing a disservice to Eddie Howe?
PB: A massive disservice to Eddie Howe and the team around him. Sure, the investment has helped buy players like Callum Wilson, Tokelo Rantie and Matt Ritchie, but much of the funds have been put into development of the infrastructure like training facilities, youth team development and improving the retail shop and car parking at the ground. Some opposition fans don’t realize that our club has only twice bought players that are said to cost over £2m and while AFCB are reported to have offered up to £5m for Demarai Gray of Birmingham City in January that would have smashed the club’s transfer record by a good £2m. AFCB have brought in Premier League experience though with Eliott Ward, Dan Gosling and Andrew Surman.
Most of the players at the club have come from League One and some from League Two – Eunan O’Kane, Marc Pugh.. It has also been great to see home grown Bailey Cargill come through to the first team.
TC: Do you think the squad can carry Bournemouth to promotion or does it perhaps lack the depth of fellow promotion rivals?
PB: The squad is good enough and deep enough. I don’t see that any of the other clubs in the league have been on unbeaten runs as long as the Cherries and that gives me confidence that they can do that again and go all the way with their challenge. What has been amazingis how well the team plays away from home because we have not got the numbers of fans like Middlesbrough, Derby and Ipswich and yet the players seem to enjoy playing at big stadiums. As long as the home form holds up the team will be there or thereabouts. The next target is to beat last season’s points total of 66 and we will see what happens after that.
TC: Does this side have any weaknesses that Huddersfield can potentially exploit?
PB: Of course, there are weaknesses. No team is unbeatable in the Championship. I’m not sure should say too much though – you probably have a direct line to Chris Powell! (We wish - he might make a tactical sub before the hour mark then)
Of late it has been individual mistakes that opponents have profited from. AFCB can beat themselves some time in just not doing the simple things of putting the ball in row z. It’s the way they have been drilled to stick to their principles of passing their way out of any situation but now and again it’s likely someone will get caught out. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because to see a team play out from the back is fantastic to watch and it has brought the team a huge amount of success in recent seasons.
TC: Which Bournemouth player should Huddersfield fans worry about?
PB: Two players are in hot form at the moment. Callum Wilson will give any defender nightmares as he is quick and powerful and he just has boundless amounts of energy. He has also developed a knack of scoring from almost what seem to be impossible angles of late. He can miss from time to time but he just makes sure he scores next time. Scoring from headers might be somewhere where he could improve but I’m sure he’ll be working on that.
Candidate number two is Matt Ritchie. He is in a golden patch of form and is capable of drifting into the right place at the right time and also has a viscous shot with either foot. He is as good from distance as any player I have seen in the Championship as well.
TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think AFCB fans should worry about?
PB: Ishmael Miller is a player that has lots of experience in the Championship and he has played at quite a few clubs on loan and did really well last season. He is quick and powerful and has scored some unbelievable goals and I thought he could have kept Yeovil up. Nahki Wells and James Vaughan will also be ones to watch out for but I just hope that they don’t get too many opportunities in the game. At least we don’t have to worry about Adam Hammill who is on loan at Rotherham – I still remember how he scored a great goal against in that 5-1 thrashing we got in our first season back in the Championship!
TC: What is your prediction for Tomorrow?
PB: I always hate this bit as you never really know what can happen over 90 minutes in this league. I think with the disappointment of letting in some goals of late that a clean sheet will be a big priority for Eddie Howe and on that basis I’ll go for a home win 2-0. What I am nervous about is that Huddersfield should have scored several goals against Wolves having created lots of chances, so I am just hoping that away from home your lads find it a bit harder to get possession. All I will say is if the Terriers do win they will have deserved it as it is not an easy place to come to and get three points.