AFC Bournemouth captain Simon Francis believes the Cherries current back four are the first names on Cherries manager Eddie Howe’s team sheet.
Francis believes that is testament to the players, as well as to the coaching staff, for working hard to make themselves established Premier League defenders.
Whilst the defence has been tweaked over the past few years, all four players have represented the Cherries in the top three tiers of English football.
Both Charlie Daniels and Steve Cook have been ever presents in their roles, whilst Simon Francis has switched positions from first choice right back to centre back since firstly the injury to Tommy Elphick last season and later his summer departure.
Adam Smith has stepped in at right back and whilst maybe not a regular in the back four during that period, he still amassed 15 appearances during the first season in the Championship and 36 appearances during the promotion season before making the step up as a first team regular to fill in for Francis at right back during the clubs maiden Premier League campaign.
Francis told the Daily Echo…
‘”It goes under the radar, I think. I can`t think of too many teams in the Premier League that have had the same back four from League One and proved themselves as Premier League defenders…’
‘…It was well documented in the summer that we needed to bring in a centre-half, We bought Marc Wilson and Nathan Ake can play there as well. We have strength in depth but I think the back four, at the moment, are the first four on the team sheet.
“That`s credit to all the lads, not just the back four. And also to the manager and the staff, who work hard with us every day.
“We know we have to concede fewer goals than we did last season and the Spurs game was a great example of how far we`ve come.”
‘As it stands, we have Franno, Steve Cook, Marc Wilson, Tyrone Mings, Corey Jordan and Ake all available for the two centre back positions. Not too bad. – Join the conversation here.
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