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AFC Bournemouth: Cherries will be fine in Championship says ex-boss Bond
FORMER manager Kevin Bond believes Cherries can compete against anybody in the Championship and insists: “They will be fine.”
Bond, assistant to Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers, watched the title-chasing Hoops register a 3-0 victory over Cherries last night.
Goals from Charlie Austin, Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips proved enough as the division’s big guns left Cherries with one victory in their past 11 matches.
But Bond said he had been impressed by the Dean Court outfit and tipped them to consolidate during their first season back in the second tier.
Bond said: “I thought they acquitted themselves very well and, for me, the turning point was the fact that we got the first goal.
“I think they can compete against anybody. They have had a little bit of a difficult run but it is difficult with that step up.
“They have got no real stars in their side but they get an awful lot out of the side itself. You can see that they are well drilled and I think they will be fine.
“I think from Eddie’s point of view, he will think this is a year of consolidation and see if they can maybe push on again in the years ahead. But they are a good footballing side.
“We went with two up front and we were umming and ahhing about that because of the football they can play and the damage they can do to you.”
Bond and Redknapp have long-standing links with Cherries and the QPR number two, who gave Eddie Howe his first coaching role, admitted he had taken no particular pleasure in overcoming his old employers.
He added: “The most important thing for us was to get back on the winning track.
“There are a lot of nice people down in Bournemouth and I would like to see them do well. They are a good side and they have done fantastically so I don’t take any great pleasure in beating Bournemouth.”
Giving his verdict on the Championship clash, Cherries boss Howe said: “I thought we started the game very well. We were well in the game and conceded, from our perspective, a really poor first goal.
“I felt it knocked our confidence for about 10 minutes and then we got back on it again. That was the story of our night because in the second half, I felt we were very good at the start of the half. We created chances and then conceded a really poor second goal.
“Suddenly, we were 2-0 down and Lee Camp had not really been worked, so that was the big disappointment of the night.
“QPR have good players in their squad but, from our perspective, it is a case of making sure we have the ability to keep clean sheets and stay in games because until that first goal, I felt there was nothing between the sides.
“If anything, we had some really good opportunities and you would have liked to have thought we could have been a little bit more ruthless and taken those chances.”
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