AFC Bournemouth: Captain Elphick hails 'perfect' away performance at Reading (From Bournemouth Echo)
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AFC Bournemouth: Captain Elphick hails 'perfect' away performance at Reading
PROUD captain Tommy Elphick insisted Cherries had answered their critics by producing the “perfect away display” at Reading.
The Cherries skipper played an influential role as Eddie Howe’s men secured a 2-1 victory over the Royals to halt a sequence of seven games without a win.
Elphick, 26, led a fine defensive effort and first-half goals from Lewis Grabban and Matt Ritchie earned the points despite Adam Le Fondre’s injury-time strike.
Former Brighton centre-half Elphick suggested that people had doubted Cherries during their recent run but said their belief had remained unflinching.
He told the Daily Echo: “People start doubting a little bit but we have a strong group, a strong manager and strong people around us.
“People behind the scenes that don’t get seen so much nowadays, such as Fletch (Steve Fletcher) and John Yems (football operations and recruitment manager), are there every day keeping the spirits up. Jason (Tindall) is a big part of that and the gaffer has never doubted us, so a lot of credit has to go to them.
“If you look at our side, sometimes people say we are a little bit lightweight and have questioned whether we are a little bit soft but this game banishes all of that.
"We stood up and defended when we needed to. The only downside was that we didn’t keep a clean sheet which I thought we deserved.”
Cherries ran out deserved winners at Madejski Stadium but only after they had been forced to withstand pressure from hosts Reading during the opening exchanges.
Elphick said: “Those were the perfect circumstances really. We were thrust in at the deep end, we had to be strong and we had to stand up. We did that.
“From 30 to 35 minutes, we had a spell with the ball and we just grew from that. We scored at a vital time which was important.
"In recent weeks, we had been on top but had not taken our chances. But when you do that, a lot of confidence can be taken from it. I thought it was the perfect away display.
“This win came off the back of such good, hard work in the past few games. A lot of good came out of the past few games, although we had not won. The message before the game was to roll all of that into one and we did that.”
Elphick also praised the 2,338 Cherries supporters who had made the trip to Reading on Saturday.
He added: “That was massive for us. We are going to need them every game. It was absolutely brilliant.
“The day started brilliantly with the fans all being there. It gave us a massive lift just to see that many people.
“Not only that but when we were having a hard time in the opening half an hour, they were there with us.”
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