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Cherries: 'Big game player' Brett can keep promotion bid on track
7:12am Friday 22nd March 2013 in Sport
Pitman has netted 12 times since returning to Dean Court from Bristol City in November, climbing to seventh in Cherries’ list of all-time leading league goalscorers.
The Jersey-born striker helped Cherries stop the rot of five successive defeats by scoring the only goal in back-to-back away victories at Stevenage – a penalty – and Oldham.
Pitman will be hoping to add to his tally when Cherries host Bury tomorrow (3pm), the 25-year-old having re-opened his account for the club in a 2-2 draw at Gigg Lane in November.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “Brett is a big-game player and he thrives on the atmosphere. He took his goal at Oldham excellently and was unlucky with a couple of other efforts.
“He hadn’t had a lot of football prior to joining us and had spent a lot of time watching games and getting five or 10 minutes at the end.
“That was never going to be conducive to him coming here and hitting the ground running.
“He was never going to be able to perform at his optimum straight away and needed a bit of time to get going. I think we are seeing the best of him now and, hopefully, he is going to be a big player for us in the next seven games.”
Howe embarked on a midweek spying mission when he made the 500-mile round trip to Bury to see the Shakers score twice in the final eight minutes to record a 2-0 win over Stevenage, a victory which saw them climb off the foot of the table.
He said: “They are a very committed team and are fighting hard to achieve their objective. We know from the first game against them that they work very hard and will never give up so are expecting another tough test.
“It will be great to be back on home soil. Going into the match on the back of two away wins will give us confidence. We have moved back into the play-off places and, hopefully, we can start another good home run.
“We were resolute defensively and defended for our lives in the two away games, especially at Oldham where we had to dig deep.
“I think that had been a criticism labelled at us at times this season and there had been question marks about whether we had it in us. I think we showed we had in the two games and they were big results for us.”