A good sign

Wednesday 19th December 2012 15:33

Macdonald: Ginger Zidane

Macdonald: Ginger Zidane

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Bournemouth FanZoner Ash Hover is feeling confident after watching the Cherries struggle, and still win!

Could Howe be leading Bournemouth up to the Championship?

I was at Saturday's game with Colchester, and there's a lot we can read from the fixture. We won 1-0 thanks to yet another Lewis Grabban goal, but more importantly, we didn't play that well. Why is that important? I hear you asking.

Well, in most the previous games, Howe's side have been banging goals into the back of the net. But other than a late Brett Pitman strike, which clipped the post, the Cherries didn't really create all that much.

The defensive pairing of Tommy Elphick and Steve Cook won everything airborne, despite the absence of captain, Miles Addison. And when a team can win against one of their so-called 'bogey teams' when they're not really at the races... the signs are good.

From 8 points to 9th position, Eddie Howe recently picked up the Manager of the Month award, and now sees his side sitting just six points off top spot. A place that could grow ever-closer if league leaders Tranmere keep slipping up.

Although Kevin Lisbie picked up November's Player of the Month award, for me, Lewis Grabban came a close second. The ex-Rotherham man has found a pinch of last year's form that saw him finish one of the league's top scorers. I never noticed how fast he was until recently either; he's something like 85 pace on FIFA 13!

illustrious

Unfortunately, the win was somewhat tainted with the second-half injury to our ginger Zidane, Shaun MacDonald, and Cherries fans across the country will be hoping the instrumental midfielder will be fit for the illustrious third-round trip to Wigan in early January; a fixture that Howe's men should go into with every bit of confidence.

But the Reds' cannot turn their focus away from the league just yet. With four games in nine days coming up, including a tricky trip to Brentford, Howe will surely have to call upon his humungous squad and rotate the team. Will it mess with the flow though? What if big Frank Demouge or poacher Matt Tubbs score a hat-trick?

There's never an easy moment in football management, but with such a big squad, I have no idea 'Howe' he's keeping everyone happy. I've barely even seen the likes of Charlie Sheringham or Lorenzo Davids, who were both such big signings at one point! I wonder if Lorenzo might end up joining his cousin at Barnet...

For now, I predict that if Howe's side can remain unbeaten over the Christmas period, we may well see the Cherries in the automatic promotion spots by mid-January, especially if the boys can bury Brentford. And who knows, a shock win over Wigan could set up a tasty FA Cup run too. A fourth round tie with Arry's QPR would go down nicely in my books...

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