EUNAN O’Kane says Cherries are determined to show Watford what they can do as they attempt to erase the painful memory of getting badly stung by the Hornets.
Cherries will be bidding to set the record straight when they host Watford at Dean Court on Saturday (3pm) after suffering two defeats at Vicarage Road in August.
They were knocked out of the League Cup in a 2-0 loss at Watford, which came after a 6-1 hammering at the same venue in the second league game of the season.
In their first away trip following promotion to the Championship, Cherries went in level at 1-1 but were then blitzed after the break as Troy Deeney hit a hat-trick.
O’Kane was introduced as a sub with Cherries already 4-1 down but, in the months since, Eddie Howe’s men have found their feet in a solid start in the second tier.
With Watford failing to live up to the pre-season promotion hype, the Hornets arrive in Dorset level on 30 points with Cherries.
And O’Kane is hoping to help Cherries prove they have learned and improved following their chastening defeat at Vicarage Road.
The 23-year-old told the Daily Echo: “We have picked up a lot since we played them last time.
“It will be a good test in terms of how far we have come in such a short space of time. It is definitely a challenge which everybody is embracing. Everyone wants to put in a good performance and, ultimately, show Watford we are not push-overs, we are a good side and we didn’t do ourselves justice the two times we were there. Hopefully, we will be able to put that right on Saturday.
“Everything in football teaches you something and you learn a lesson from it. Hopefully, we can show that we learned from the mistakes we made that day and, hopefully, we will be able to erase that memory from our minds.”
The former Torquay midfielder also says boss Howe will not allow Cherries’ players to get ahead of themselves with an FA Cup fourth round clash against Liverpool on the horizon.
O’Kane added: “He brought us down to earth quite quickly. He came in (after the third round win over Burton) and pretty much his first words were ‘We need to concentrate on Saturday now’.
“It was great that we got the job done and that we can look forward to a very glamorous tie but he said our main focus would need to immediately go back to Watford on Saturday.
“When it comes to Liverpool the weekend after, we can deal with it then.”
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