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AFC Bournemouth: Francis calls for a ruthless streak in both boxes
STAND-IN skipper Simon Francis acknowledges Cherries must up their game – at both ends of the pitch.
Francis says Cherries need to be more ruthless in front of goal and eradicate the mistakes at the back which are costing them dearly.
The defender was speaking after Cherries had suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Championship leaders Blackpool on Saturday.
Although Lewis Grabban quickly cancelled out Ricardo Fuller’s early opener, Neal Bishop ended Cherries’ 100 per cent winning start at Dean Court when he headed home three minutes into the second half.
Blackpool had defender Jack Robinson sent off for two yellow cards, while visiting boss Paul Ince was banished to the stands by referee Oliver Langford.
Francis said: “You could tell from their reaction at the final whistle how much it meant to them. They were celebrating as if they had won the league. I think that showed how tough a game it had been for them. We did all we could apart from put the ball in the back of the net a second time.
“We had chances, especially after they had gone down to 10 men, but we didn’t make them count and that has been the story of our games. Even when we have lost 5-1 and 6-1, we have had chances. We just haven’t been clinical enough and that has got to change pretty quickly.
“We were disappointed with the goals we conceded as well because they both came from set-plays and we have got to try to turn that around as soon as we can, otherwise we are going to get punished.
“We didn’t test their goalkeeper too many times. We had a lot of half-chances that should have been good chances but we didn’t manage to put them away.
“I felt maybe it suited us even more when they had 11 men on the pitch. We seemed to have better chances and were getting the ball wide. Our wide men were good, especially in the second half, but we just didn’t have the cutting edge. Hopefully, that will turn around because we have got the quality and the players.”
Francis added: “We have got to take the positives from the start of the season and even from this game. Blackpool were top of the league and we knew how they would play and approach it. They sat back and tried to catch us on the counter attack. I thought it fizzled out for them on numerous occasions.
“We had the better of the chances and, if they are top of the league, then hopefully we won’t have too much to worry about.
“If we can just create more chances and be more clinical then I think we will win more games than we will lose and will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“But we have got to turn things around quickly because this isn’t like League One and we can’t get away with mistakes.
“Where we were a lot better than other teams last season, this season it is going to be much tougher against bigger, stronger and more physical sides. We have got to try to compete and match them.”
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