CHERRIES star Matt Ritchie has hailed the impact of striker Yann Kermorgant, describing the Frenchman as “perfect for me”.
Kermorgant, a bargain £400,000 buy from Charlton in January, has been a key figure in Cherries’ late surge towards the Championship play-offs.
The 32-year-old has netted six times in 11 appearances – and has helped Eddie Howe’s rampant team register no fewer than 19 goals in his six starts.
Ritchie, who scored twice during the midweek win over Reading, told the Daily Echo: “Yann is a pleasure to play alongside and, personally, I love it when he is in the team.
“He is great with his feet, he is intelligent and he scores goals. I am not the quickest and he gives me a licence to go inside and play off the front of him. He sets you up for shots and is very clever.
“He has given us a different dimension and I have enjoyed playing with him. He has linked superbly with Lewis Grabban and has a made a big difference since he has come in.
“I wouldn’t call him a target man because there is a lot more to his game and that doesn’t do him justice. He is unbelievably skilful with his feet and a real threat.”
Ritchie, who missed the first four months of the season due to a thigh injury, is hoping to continue his rapid climb through the divisions following an impressive debut campaign in the Championship.
The 24-year-old, who was crowned League Two player of the year in 2011-12 and League One player of the year last season, added: “I am enjoying every minute of playing and am over the moon to be in the Championship. We’ve got a great squad and it is a really good time to be here.
“The manager has given me a great platform to play and express myself and I am surrounded by very good players. Playing at this level is what you dream about when you are young. I am thoroughly enjoying it and long may it continue. The club is going forward and has great backing from the owner.”
Ritchie will be hoping to help Cherries make it six wins in succession when they meet struggling Yeovil Town at Huish Park tomorrow (3.07pm kick-off).
“People will look at it and think we should win comfortably but it is going to be tough,” said Ritchie. “We need to keep our feet on the ground and keep doing what we have been doing.
“Mentality is going to be key now and we can’t take our foot off the gas. We need to keep pushing, training hard and doing the right things. If we do the simple things well, hopefully we can be in with a shout.”