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AFC Bournemouth: I gave my all says Cherries old boy Scott Malone
DEAN Court old boy Scott Malone is adamant he gave his all for Cherries during a “difficult time” at the club and says his acrimonious exit is now “all in the past”.
Malone, who spent 12 months with Cherries during the turbulent 2011-12 campaign, is tomorrow set to return to Goldsands Stadium for the first time with Millwall.
The 22-year-old upset a section of Cherries supporters when he said he had had “the last laugh” on the club following his controversial departure in May 2012.
Malone joined Millwall in a swap deal with Josh McQuoid and claimed former boss Paul Groves had given him no explanation as to why he had been allowed to leave.
The Midlander, who says he will take any boos with “a pinch of salt”, recently forced his way back into the Millwall team, his return last month coinciding with three successive wins.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Malone said: “I have no regrets about what I said when I left. I was frustrated with the circumstances but I have put that behind me now.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was one of the best of my career.
“Getting booed when you go back to a former club goes with the territory. I felt I gave 100 per cent every time I played for Bournemouth and some of the fans sung my name towards the end of my time there.
“It was a difficult time and, because it was tough, I used it as a bit of a stepping stone to get to the next level and managed to do that with Millwall.
“Every player wants to play at the highest level and I had played a season in League One with Bournemouth so it was a great opportunity. When I left, I was under no illusions that Bournemouth would kick on and I always thought they would get to the next level. Fair play to Bournemouth because they are now in the same league.
“The club has always had the right intentions of wanting to move forward and get into the Championship and even higher. When the Russian owner came in, all the stuff off the pitch was geared to getting to the next level and maybe it took a little of the emphasis off actually doing the business on the pitch. But Bournemouth have connected the two now.”
Malone, who will be vying for a place with Shane Lowry in the Lions starting line-up, netted six times in 37 appearances for Cherries, penning a three-and-a-half year deal just months before he left the club.
He added: “They were in dire straits in League One before Eddie Howe came back and it is testament to him what has been achieved with pretty much the same group of players. It just shows what impact he has had on the club.
“I think it will be an open game and both teams like to pass the ball. We are going there on the back of a bad defeat at Birmingham so, first and foremost, we need to try to stop them scoring.
“I am looking forward to it. It is nice that the majority of the lads are still there from when I played so I am looking forward to seeing all the faces again. I liked playing at Dean Court when I was a Bournemouth player so, hopefully, I will enjoy it as part of the away team.”
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