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Cherries: Blissett believes solid season would suit AFC Bournemouth
LUTHER Blissett – the man who fired Cherries to their highest finishing position in history – believes his former club should set their sights on consolidating in the Championship.
Blissett, who watched Watford drub Cherries on Saturday, says finding their feet in their first season back in the second flight is a more realistic target than reaching the Premier League.
Watford’s record goalscorer and leading appearance maker netted 19 times for Cherries when Harry Redknapp guided them to 12th in the old second division in 1989.
The striker, signed by Redknapp from Watford, topped the goal charts during three successive seasons at Dean Court before rejoining the Hornets in August 1991.
Blissett, who hit 56 goals in 121 league appearances for Cherries, told the Daily Echo: “I think they will be fine this season and the learning and education, especially from the second half on Saturday, will stand them in good stead.
“I always believe that if you are going to get done by a few goals then let it happen early in the season so you can take something from it and move forward. It is far too early to start worrying about that sort of thing.
“They are good enough and, if they can take their chances then that will help. Watford started well and looked like they were going to run away with it. But after Bournemouth had equalised, they were the better team and could, and probably should, have gone in at 2-1.
“If they could get a run together, they could be there or thereabouts. But the Championship is a very difficult division and there are probably a dozen or more teams that realistically think they have got a chance of automatic promotion or the play-offs.
“I think their sights should be set on making the Championship their home for a season or so while they build, gain experience and the players become more aware of what life is like in that division. It is a big step from where they have come and it would be a big ask for them to go up again this season.
“A lot of the clubs in the Championship have spent time in the Premier League and most of their players have played pretty much all their careers in the top two divisions. Bournemouth have got some very tough games to come against the likes of Wigan, QPR, Reading, Leeds and Birmingham.
“If expectations are too great then disappointments are too great as well if you don’t win certain games. That can have an adverse effect and you have got to manage each and every game very well.”
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