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AFC Bournemouth: Tangerine test will come from Tom Ince says Simon Francis
SIMON Francis highlighted the threat posed by Tom Ince and then predicted that nullifying the Blackpool dangerman could hold the key to victory for Cherries.
The Cherries defender insists Eddie Howe’s men will be ready for the challenge when one of the Championship’s leading lights visits Dean Court tomorrow (3pm).
Ince, son of Tangerines boss Paul, is widely regarded as a star of the second tier and has repeatedly attracted attention from potential top-flight suitors.
The 21-year-old has seen his season interrupted by a thigh injury but has still managed to net twice in one start and one substitute appearance in the league.
Ince, who scored 18 goals last term, could go head-to-head with Cherries right-back Francis as he is capable of playing on either flank or through the middle.
But despite admitting Ince would offer a stern test for Cherries’ backline, 28-year-old Francis is eager to show what he can do against the highly-rated prospect.
Speaking ahead of the clash with the league leaders, Francis told the Daily Echo: “He looks like a top player.
“He went on loan to Notts County and had his first loan move when his dad was the manager there.
"A few people raised their eyebrows, thinking that maybe he had just brought him in because he was his son, but he saw he had a bit of talent and he has kicked on in the past couple of seasons.
“Cardiff wanted to bring him into the Premier League and maybe he said no because he wants to wait for a bigger club, which is good ambition from him.
“He has shown that he is an exciting player and he will definitely be a tough test if I do come up against him, just like any other players will on Saturday.
“But we will have that all the way through the season. It is going to be tough but it is something that we are ready for.
“You have to think positively and, maybe, I can push him the other way and make him track me when we are attacking. That is part of my game, wanting to bomb on and go forward.
“He is an exciting player and if we can nullify the threat that he brings, then I am sure we will have a good chance of winning the game.”
Francis says he has been pleased by his combination with Cherries’ teenage talent Ryan Fraser so far this season.
The former Charlton man added: “Ryan being the hard worker that he is, he will always come back and try to help when he can.
“Full-backs nowadays bomb on so much and join in with the wingers that it is almost two against two most of the time.
“I have really enjoyed playing with Ryan this season and I think we have worked pretty well together.”
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