Cherries: Old boy Stock tells Dean Court faithful: "Nothing has changed overnight." (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Cherries: Old boy Stock tells Dean Court faithful: "Nothing has changed overnight."
Stock, who skippered Doncaster to League One play-off final glory in 2008, is predicting a close contest when two of his former clubs lock horns tomorrow (3pm).
Rovers currently top the table following their relegation from the Championship last season, while Cherries are seventh having endured a poor start to the campaign.
Stock, one of Howe’s last signings at Burnley before he returned to Dorset in October, told the Daily Echo: “Both teams deserve a lot of credit for how they have done this season.
“It is always difficult to overcome the disappointment of being relegated and it takes a lot of character to bounce back. I remember when we did it at Bournemouth and we went straight back up after we had gone down. Doncaster have done well and I am not surprised to see them where they are.
“Everybody knows Bournemouth had a slow start. I was disappointed when Eddie and Jason left Burnley but the run and the manner in which Bournemouth did it was truly remarkable. They were the talk of the country and the fact they have got to where they are now is a credit to them.
“It is important the supporters stick with the players and the manager. I know they have just lost four games but nothing has changed overnight. A few weeks ago, they were top of the table and had only lost once in 20-odd games.
“People have got to look at just how far they have come since the start of the season and to be in with a shout of promotion is unbelievable. They have got a quality squad and I am sure they will pull through the bad run. Even the best teams in the world have bad runs and it is about how you react. Everybody needs to stay together.”
Winchester-born Stock, who came through the ranks at Dean Court, spent seven years as a pro with Cherries before joining Doncaster in 2007 following a brief spell at Preston.
He added: “When I first went to Burnley, I had only played with and had a good laugh with Eddie and Jason as team-mates. But it didn’t take me long to give them the respect they deserved as manager and assistant. They know what they are talking about.
“They know how to approach games, they do their homework and motivate the players. I can see why Bournemouth went out of their way to get them back. It was a big loss for Burnley and a major gain for Bournemouth. I am sure if it doesn’t happen for them this season, it will definitely happen next.”