AFC Bournemouth returns to action this weekend in the Football League Championship, following a two-week break for the international fixtures.
Many of the Cherries players have been away on international duty, including David Brooks and Chris Mepham, who helped to secure Wales’ promotion in the UEFA Nations League.
Attention now returns to Championship and attempting to secure promotion at club level for the Cherries, but life in the second tier of English Football is tough.
Saturday’s visitors to Dean Court are Reading, who are sat top of the division. They once held a record of undefeated in the opening eight games of the season, with seven victories and had opened up a hefty cushion at the top of the table.
However three consecutive defeats has seen their lead diminish and now, whilst remaining top, just three points separate the top six teams.
AFC Bournemouth are currently fourth in the table after 11 games and had been the only side in the top four divisions to remain undefeated until game week 10 and defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. A win over Reading at Dean Court on Saturday would see the Cherries leapfrog Reading in the table.
But with just five wins from the opening eleven games, reaction to AFC Bournemouth’s start to the season has appeared somewhat mixed.
How do you feel about AFCB's start to the season?
Draws against Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers, Cardiff City, Watford and Derby County have often felt like fixtures which has seen points drop through the Cherries fingers.
AFC Bournemouth attacker Junior Stanislas told afcb.co.uk…
“…We go into every game looking to win. Getting relegated from the Premier League, people expect you to come into the Championship and dominate it but it’s not like that.
“The opposition try to stop you doing that. It’s never easy and a lot of teams sit behind the ball so we have to be good enough to break them down…”
“…I don’t really look at the league table too much, especially now. Birmingham was our 11th game and there is a long way to go.
“If we can play to the level we did against Birmingham, especially in the first half, it will stand us in good stead.”
If you go on the win at home, draw away to get promotion = 92 points.
In recent years the exception was the 2016-17 season where 93 points gained second place.
So after 11 games with five at home and six away we should have 21 points, we are 1 point adrift at the moment.
David Brooks seems to be showing signs of the ‘rust’ wearing off, just hope he stays clear of injuries in this international break.
Before the game against Sheffield Wednesday some were saying it was probably our best team on paper, but what had to be taken into account was how match fit some of them were.
Jason Tindall is on a learning curve in his first season as manager in the higher leagues and in his first 11 games, his team has only lost once, so encouraging signs hopefully. – Join the conversation, click here.