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AFC Bournemouth: Macca backs Cherries to lead from the front
MIDFIELDER Shaun MacDonald believes Cherries’ strikers will continue to be a thorn in Championship sides.
MacDonald has been impressed by the performances of the club’s frontmen in Cherries’ promising start to life back in the second tier.
In-form Lewis Grabban hit his fourth goal in three league matches to fire Cherries to a 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic on Saturday, while fellow front-runner Brett Pitman made a welcome return to the starting XI.
And ex-Swansea City star MacDonald praised the men at the sharp end for carrying the fight as Cherries adjust to the step up.
MacDonald (pictured) told the Daily Echo: “Against Charlton, Grabbs (Grabban) played as a number nine while against Wigan, he had Brett (Pitman) playing as a deeper striker. They have both shown they are capable of being flexible in different systems.
“Whoever is up there, whatever the system is, we plan to attack or counter-attack at every opportunity and with the strikers we have got at the club, I think we can cause teams a lot of problems.
“Lewis went through a sticky patch last season but kept working really hard and, sometimes, people don’t realise just how hard he works off the ball.
“His all-round game is very good, he holds the ball up well and he has got good pace. When you need that out ball, you know he can get on the end of things.
“He has come back after the summer break with a great attitude again and the hard work he has put in is showing in matches.”
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old, who signed from his hometown club Swansea in 2011, believes Cherries should take confidence from their home displays ahead of three successive away days.
Ahead of clashes at Huddersfield, Watford and Doncaster, MacDonald added: “We all know we have got a difficult week ahead. We have got to think about three away games and we have to make sure we are prepared for that.
“Away from home, you might approach games differently, but we always want to impose our own style of play and try to win every match.
“When your home performances are good, you can take confidence into the next game and, defensively, it was an important clean sheet for us against Wigan."
Meanwhile, Jordan Chiedozie, who struck twice against Coventry City under-21s last week, bagged another brace as Cherries’ development squad registered a 3-1 win over their Oxford United counterparts on Tuesday.
Jayden Stockley converted a cross from Harry Cornick to open the scoring before Chiedozie added two more, with James Roberts on target for Oxford.
Wes Fogden made his return from a heel injury, while boss Eddie Howe ran the rule over trialists Elliott Legg, Samir Bihmoutine, Malaki Field and Gboly Ariyibi.
Cherries: Flahavan, Fogden (Legg, 50), McCarthy (Butcher, 45), Field, Bihmoutine, Cornick, Matthews (Colson, 65), Wakefield (Bassele, 50), Ariyibi (Losasso, 50), Stockley, Chiedozie. Unused subs: Collins (g/k).
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