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AFC Bournemouth: Versatile wing men can cause problems says Marc Pugh
MARC Pugh believes his ambidextrous attacking partnership with Cherries colleague Ryan Fraser can keep the best of Championship defences on their toes.
Tricky wing technician Pugh and his pacy partner Fraser have regularly cemented spots on the Cherries flanks this season with their differing styles used to devastating effect.
The deadly duo’s ability to turn a game was never more present than in the stunning fight-back against Millwall prior to the international break when Fraser, who had just switched wings with Pugh, plundered a pivotal goal before half-time.
That strike from the wee man lit the blue touch paper as Cherries recovered from a two-goal deficit to tame the Lions 5-2.
And while the crowd were awestruck by the tenacious turnaround, it came as no surprise to Pugh who hailed the flexible feature of Cherries’ attacking play.
Pugh told the Daily Echo: “Ryan has a lot of pace and likes to drive at full-backs whereas I am more technical and not as quick. I have to be clever and cute, but our differing styles give opposition full-backs a variety of problems.
“We tend to swap wings and give different things a go in training, which comes naturally to us because Ryan used to play on the left while I spent most of my younger days on the right.
“Those experiences give us another option if things don’t go our way and I am sure it is something we will continue to use.
“If you are one-footed, defenders suss you out pretty quickly, but when you can go either way then it makes life less comfortable for teams trying to stop you.
“We constantly work on different aspects of our game, including finishing with both feet to keep that element of surprise.
“Clubs will always look at videos and clips of each team and if one player or one position is identified as a threat then everyone else has to be ready to exploit those other areas.”
Meanwhile, Pugh reiterated the importance of pace, particularly on the road, as Fraser battles to recover from the hamstring injury which prevented him from playing for Scotland under-21s this week.
Boss Eddie Howe said the former Aberdeen youngster would be monitored ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Nottingham Forest, but Pugh remained confident the rest of his team-mates could maintain the tempo.
Pugh added: “At this level, pace is key because teams keep possession really well. We are constantly working on our counter-attacking football and pace is the one thing that will open up a defence when you play that way.
“At any level, it is hard to defend against.
“Sometimes, when we’re on the back foot, we have to be a bit more cautious but, if we can break in numbers with pace we have in our team, we will always create chances.”
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