TEENAGE sensation Ryan Fraser insists he can thrive on the big stage as Cherries aim to keep their cool in the white-hot atmosphere at Elland Road tonight.
Cherries are likely to face one of the most vociferous home faithfuls in the Championship when they visit fallen giants Leeds United this evening (7.45pm).
The former Premier League outfit and three-times English champions still pull in an average crowd of 26,751 – the highest in the second tier so far this season.
But emerging talent Fraser, who played in front of almost 50,000 spectators when taking on Celtic with former club Aberdeen, is relishing the challenge.
Fresh from netting his first senior goal against Blackburn on Saturday, Fraser (pictured) told the Daily Echo: “I have never played at Leeds before but Ian Harte says it is one of the best stadiums to play at, so I am looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will be a good atmosphere and we can get the result we need.
“I played in front of about 50,000 people against Celtic. They are a loud bunch at Celtic! I have played in big arenas and I like it. I think it improves my performance. I don’t know why, I just think that the atmosphere gives you more adrenaline.”
Fraser, who was introduced as a half-time substitute in the 3-1 loss to Blackburn, is hoping his lively display did enough to earn a starting place, having been left out of the XI after suffering a hamstring problem in the build-up to Cherries’ 3-3 draw at Middlesbrough the previous weekend.
Meanwhile, Cherries boss Eddie Howe says the hostile environment of Elland Road provides players with the opportunity to prove themselves.
He told the Daily Echo: “Having been there previously, it is an excellent arena to play in, with a very hostile atmosphere.
“But for an away side, it is a great venue. I love going there. If you can perform and do your stuff there, you can do it anywhere.”
Following the defeat at the hands of Blackburn, injury-hit Cherries sit 10th in the Championship with 13 points from nine games.
Howe added: “You have to look at the long-term aim and keep perspective. We are where we are and we have had a good start to the season.
“We have got a good points tally so far and these are big games coming up. We knew we were in the middle of a really tough spell of games.”