AFC Bournemouth midfielder and former Southampton player Andrew Surman believes that the fixture with Southampton ‘is extra special because it is a derby’.
Now 31 and vice captain of the Cherries, Surman progressed through the youth ranks along the coast at Southampton.
Between 2004 and 2009 he made 146 appearances for Southampton before leaving for Wolverhampton Wanderers for £1.2million.
He would go on to Norwich City before joining the Cherries on a full season loan in July 2013 and enjoyed the full Championship campaign before returning to his parent club following their relegation from the Premier League.
However after just one appearance in the Championship with Norwich the two clubs agreed a permanent deal which saw Surman return to Dean Court.
Surman told the Daily Echo…
‘…they are all big games and this one is extra special because it is a derby. We have to make sure we are better than we were against Burnley and do enough to get a result.
‘In this league, if you don’t play at your highest level, you aren’t going to pick up points.’
Agree we as supporters (at home) could be doing more this season IMHO.
Doesn’t help of course if club officials are going around telling people to quiet down! If Finney or anyone else tries that again on Sunday I hope she/they get told to naff right off.
It’s hard to pick a team at the moment because there’s so many question marks. Southampton will go 3 in midfield, and midfield is actually one of their stronger areas, with the other areas of the pitch being their weaker spots. I would worry about going 4-4-2, especially given our wide options currently with Stan not fully fit. I think there’s a lot of logic in a 5-3-2 wingbacks.
It matches Southampton’s midfield, drops our struggling wingers, allows us to keep the two up top, keeps Francis in a position he’s better suited and provides Daniels and Smith an outlet to impact the game more. Surely a middle 3 would get Howe to include Cook as well.
We could play Stanislas in a central position if he’s fit, or have him on the bench to come on later if he’s not ready to start. Fraser another impact sub option.
Smith Francis Cook Ake Daniels
Cook Surman Arter
However I worry slightly the fact that Howe is talking about Stan so much, suggests that Howe is still thinking 4-4-2, just a question of whether it’ll be Stan and Pugh or Ibe and Pugh. That would get largely owned in the middle by a stronger Saints midfield, and wouldn’t allow our stronger areas a chance to get in the game.
Match their midfield, with a sprinkle of magic from Cook backed up by two more experienced others, to try cancelling out their strength. Then our defence and attack have a chance to prove that they’re better than there’s.
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