AFC Bournemouth: Scoring first is key for Elphick

Bournemouth Echo: CAPTAIN: Tommy Elphick CAPTAIN: Tommy Elphick

CAPTAIN Tommy Elphick reckons striking the first blow could be key to solving Cherries’ long-standing clean sheet quandary on the road.

Cherries have prevented their opponents from scoring just once in their past 24 Championship matches with their only shutout away on unfamiliar territory coming at Doncaster back in August.

However, bright starts have proved the cornerstone of Cherries’ successes during their maiden voyage in the Championship with the Dean Court outfit one of only five teams yet to lose a match after scoring the first goal.

Having got their noses in front on 13 occasions, Cherries have gone on to win eight and draw five of their league fixtures on their return to the second tier.

And while Elphick admitted the wait for a morale-boosting clean sheet had been too long, the skipper believes that imperious record could aid their quest as the season progresses.

Elphick told the Daily Echo: “It’s a remarkable statistic which the lads are very aware of and it does play into our game plan.

“At this level, psychological factors come into play a lot more. It can be quite daunting going to big grounds, playing against big teams with well-known players but going one up gives you a platform to play your natural game.

“Sometimes the reputation is bigger than the club and players you’re up against and that first goal helps put that to one side and gives you the belief to go on and win.

“Personally, I prefer playing at the top stadiums in front of big crowds. Mentally, it helps me.

“Our style is fast, attacking and expansive so we do leave ourselves vulnerable at times, but once you go one up you can control things that a little bit more.”

On the lack of clean sheets, he added: “We have defended well recently and limited teams to very few chances but with the dangerous players in this division they don’t need as many opportunities to score.

“As defenders, we are very frustrated at the moment. We have been putting in a lot of work on the basics to try and rectify that record and just get a clean sheet because it is massively important.

“We leave no stone unturned in terms of analysis. The gaffer is very hot on that, looking back at clips, seeing what we can do better.

“The back four has changed quite a bit over the past four or five months with people coming in and out but we have become a bit more settled now which should help us.”

Comments (17)

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6:38am Tue 25 Feb 14

TedMacsCherryPants says...

I seem to remember we have scored first on many occasions and tried to keep the lead for the whole match while inviting the opposition onto us only to end up with a draw. Therefore my thoughts are that we should be looking to not only strike the first blow but also the second!

Whatever our understandable shortcomings this season I am still really enjoying it and very much looking forward to Saturday, we are long overdue 3 points.
Up the Cherries!
I seem to remember we have scored first on many occasions and tried to keep the lead for the whole match while inviting the opposition onto us only to end up with a draw. Therefore my thoughts are that we should be looking to not only strike the first blow but also the second! Whatever our understandable shortcomings this season I am still really enjoying it and very much looking forward to Saturday, we are long overdue 3 points. Up the Cherries! TedMacsCherryPants
  • Score: 14

8:11am Tue 25 Feb 14

afcbtintin says...

TedMacsCherryPants wrote:
I seem to remember we have scored first on many occasions and tried to keep the lead for the whole match while inviting the opposition onto us only to end up with a draw. Therefore my thoughts are that we should be looking to not only strike the first blow but also the second!

Whatever our understandable shortcomings this season I am still really enjoying it and very much looking forward to Saturday, we are long overdue 3 points.
Up the Cherries!
Agree on all points made.

UTCIAD
[quote][p][bold]TedMacsCherryPants[/bold] wrote: I seem to remember we have scored first on many occasions and tried to keep the lead for the whole match while inviting the opposition onto us only to end up with a draw. Therefore my thoughts are that we should be looking to not only strike the first blow but also the second! Whatever our understandable shortcomings this season I am still really enjoying it and very much looking forward to Saturday, we are long overdue 3 points. Up the Cherries![/p][/quote]Agree on all points made. UTCIAD afcbtintin
  • Score: 5

9:11am Tue 25 Feb 14

swanagecherrie says...

afcbtintin wrote:
TedMacsCherryPants wrote:
I seem to remember we have scored first on many occasions and tried to keep the lead for the whole match while inviting the opposition onto us only to end up with a draw. Therefore my thoughts are that we should be looking to not only strike the first blow but also the second!

Whatever our understandable shortcomings this season I am still really enjoying it and very much looking forward to Saturday, we are long overdue 3 points.
Up the Cherries!
Agree on all points made.

UTCIAD
Good post, I agree totally, we are a attacking team and a very good one but as soon as we change to more a defensive mode we usually concede.
[quote][p][bold]afcbtintin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TedMacsCherryPants[/bold] wrote: I seem to remember we have scored first on many occasions and tried to keep the lead for the whole match while inviting the opposition onto us only to end up with a draw. Therefore my thoughts are that we should be looking to not only strike the first blow but also the second! Whatever our understandable shortcomings this season I am still really enjoying it and very much looking forward to Saturday, we are long overdue 3 points. Up the Cherries![/p][/quote]Agree on all points made. UTCIAD[/p][/quote]Good post, I agree totally, we are a attacking team and a very good one but as soon as we change to more a defensive mode we usually concede. swanagecherrie
  • Score: 6

9:31am Tue 25 Feb 14

TedMacsCherryPants says...

^
I think we can defend but when we drop back for too long it put's too much pressure on them and TBH with the number of chances we create a 1st, 2nd & 3rd strike shouldn't be beyond us. If EH can sort this out we will be a force in this league.
^ I think we can defend but when we drop back for too long it put's too much pressure on them and TBH with the number of chances we create a 1st, 2nd & 3rd strike shouldn't be beyond us. If EH can sort this out we will be a force in this league. TedMacsCherryPants
  • Score: 2

10:39am Tue 25 Feb 14

Square Old Codger says...

If we are honest, just three clean sheets so far this Season, with only Millwall conceding more goals and a dearth of goals from our midfielders are the real reasons. If you are playing with a single striker up front then you need the midfielders to chip in. But, we are playing some great entertaining football, have some real talent emerging and will stay up, that's this Season's aim and I for one am enjoying the Season and the obvious progress the Club is making.. .
If we are honest, just three clean sheets so far this Season, with only Millwall conceding more goals and a dearth of goals from our midfielders are the real reasons. If you are playing with a single striker up front then you need the midfielders to chip in. But, we are playing some great entertaining football, have some real talent emerging and will stay up, that's this Season's aim and I for one am enjoying the Season and the obvious progress the Club is making.. . Square Old Codger
  • Score: 5

10:46am Tue 25 Feb 14

devon fan says...

Square Old Codger wrote:
If we are honest, just three clean sheets so far this Season, with only Millwall conceding more goals and a dearth of goals from our midfielders are the real reasons. If you are playing with a single striker up front then you need the midfielders to chip in. But, we are playing some great entertaining football, have some real talent emerging and will stay up, that's this Season's aim and I for one am enjoying the Season and the obvious progress the Club is making.. .
quite agree with your comments but would ask how much longer we can make progress unless we start to score goals and win matches, I cannot agree with Eddie Howes assesment that we are not far off the finished article, we need to see the team start games quicker and get back to the time when we were at least getting in a shots ratio of around 20 or more, a good rousing team talk before the team is sent out might help
[quote][p][bold]Square Old Codger[/bold] wrote: If we are honest, just three clean sheets so far this Season, with only Millwall conceding more goals and a dearth of goals from our midfielders are the real reasons. If you are playing with a single striker up front then you need the midfielders to chip in. But, we are playing some great entertaining football, have some real talent emerging and will stay up, that's this Season's aim and I for one am enjoying the Season and the obvious progress the Club is making.. .[/p][/quote]quite agree with your comments but would ask how much longer we can make progress unless we start to score goals and win matches, I cannot agree with Eddie Howes assesment that we are not far off the finished article, we need to see the team start games quicker and get back to the time when we were at least getting in a shots ratio of around 20 or more, a good rousing team talk before the team is sent out might help devon fan
  • Score: 2

11:05am Tue 25 Feb 14

RED LETTER DAY says...

Scoring first is not the answer. . . . . . SCORING TWO IS THE KEY
Scoring first is not the answer. . . . . . SCORING TWO IS THE KEY RED LETTER DAY
  • Score: 6

11:26am Tue 25 Feb 14

Fanfor45 says...

I have a sympathy with all of the views expressed above, but at the final whistle only one thing matters above all else......that your team hasn't scored less goals than the opposition. How many are scored and however they are scored is quite irrelevant unless you are a stickler for wonderfully flowing football that produces no positive result. I saw a game at Dean Court where we played Tranmere Rovers completely off the park years ago. They had 5 chances and took each one. We had countless chances and took only one. Fantastic football. No result. A theme amplified more recently.
I have a sympathy with all of the views expressed above, but at the final whistle only one thing matters above all else......that your team hasn't scored less goals than the opposition. How many are scored and however they are scored is quite irrelevant unless you are a stickler for wonderfully flowing football that produces no positive result. I saw a game at Dean Court where we played Tranmere Rovers completely off the park years ago. They had 5 chances and took each one. We had countless chances and took only one. Fantastic football. No result. A theme amplified more recently. Fanfor45
  • Score: 4

12:34pm Tue 25 Feb 14

eaststandman says...

Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc.

Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......
Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc. Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do...... eaststandman
  • Score: 6

2:32pm Tue 25 Feb 14

devon fan says...

having read the managers comments on the club website, where he feels we very nearly there and will soon beat a topside, he goes on to say he would rather lose as long as we play well, having read such nonsense it is easy to understand the problem as long as we dominate play and look good it is better to lose than to scrape a win from where we played badly, a team talk along those lines would fail to inspire most players this is unfortunatley a results business and a win is a win however it comes, and please Eddie remember all these people who are telling you you are the best team they have played are the teams that have just beaten you, the ones that we have beaten complain about the fre kick awarded against them {where have I heard that before}
having read the managers comments on the club website, where he feels we very nearly there and will soon beat a topside, he goes on to say he would rather lose as long as we play well, having read such nonsense it is easy to understand the problem as long as we dominate play and look good it is better to lose than to scrape a win from where we played badly, a team talk along those lines would fail to inspire most players this is unfortunatley a results business and a win is a win however it comes, and please Eddie remember all these people who are telling you you are the best team they have played are the teams that have just beaten you, the ones that we have beaten complain about the fre kick awarded against them {where have I heard that before} devon fan
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Tue 25 Feb 14

bobsworthforever says...

eaststandman wrote:
Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc.

Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......
That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific
[quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc. Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......[/p][/quote]That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific bobsworthforever
  • Score: 2

6:08pm Tue 25 Feb 14

eaststandman says...

bobsworthforever wrote:
eaststandman wrote:
Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc.

Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......
That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific
Rhodes has scored 16 goals this season,its only Feb, so not a bad return.

Grabban has 13, so thats pretty good.

Pitman has 7 ( and hardly ever plays)

TWENTY FOUR MATCHES LATER......Rantie has scored...erm...3 ?

Bargain.............
............
[quote][p][bold]bobsworthforever[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc. Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......[/p][/quote]That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific[/p][/quote]Rhodes has scored 16 goals this season,its only Feb, so not a bad return. Grabban has 13, so thats pretty good. Pitman has 7 ( and hardly ever plays) TWENTY FOUR MATCHES LATER......Rantie has scored...erm...3 ? Bargain............. ............ eaststandman
  • Score: -1

7:01pm Tue 25 Feb 14

stanlake says...

Rhodes or Rantie ? Stats show that is a no brainer. As for getting 60 points that would require a tremendous improvement in the run in to the end of season. We can only hope.
Rhodes or Rantie ? Stats show that is a no brainer. As for getting 60 points that would require a tremendous improvement in the run in to the end of season. We can only hope. stanlake
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Tue 25 Feb 14

raybren says...

devon fan wrote:
having read the managers comments on the club website, where he feels we very nearly there and will soon beat a topside, he goes on to say he would rather lose as long as we play well, having read such nonsense it is easy to understand the problem as long as we dominate play and look good it is better to lose than to scrape a win from where we played badly, a team talk along those lines would fail to inspire most players this is unfortunatley a results business and a win is a win however it comes, and please Eddie remember all these people who are telling you you are the best team they have played are the teams that have just beaten you, the ones that we have beaten complain about the fre kick awarded against them {where have I heard that before}
I think you will find he said he would rather lose and perform well , than lose playing poorly .
Of course we have had quite a few losses playing well , what we need is another Millwall . Arguably this week is our opportunity , maybe we should play Kermogant , Grabban , Ritchie , Pitman , Pugh , Rantie , Fraser and MacDougall !
[quote][p][bold]devon fan[/bold] wrote: having read the managers comments on the club website, where he feels we very nearly there and will soon beat a topside, he goes on to say he would rather lose as long as we play well, having read such nonsense it is easy to understand the problem as long as we dominate play and look good it is better to lose than to scrape a win from where we played badly, a team talk along those lines would fail to inspire most players this is unfortunatley a results business and a win is a win however it comes, and please Eddie remember all these people who are telling you you are the best team they have played are the teams that have just beaten you, the ones that we have beaten complain about the fre kick awarded against them {where have I heard that before}[/p][/quote]I think you will find he said he would rather lose and perform well , than lose playing poorly . Of course we have had quite a few losses playing well , what we need is another Millwall . Arguably this week is our opportunity , maybe we should play Kermogant , Grabban , Ritchie , Pitman , Pugh , Rantie , Fraser and MacDougall ! raybren
  • Score: -1

8:19pm Tue 25 Feb 14

gtd says...

eaststandman wrote:
bobsworthforever wrote:
eaststandman wrote:
Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc.

Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......
That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific
Rhodes has scored 16 goals this season,its only Feb, so not a bad return.

Grabban has 13, so thats pretty good.

Pitman has 7 ( and hardly ever plays)

TWENTY FOUR MATCHES LATER......Rantie has scored...erm...3 ?

Bargain.............

............
Absolutely agree. Put Pitman in for Rantie.
[quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bobsworthforever[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc. Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......[/p][/quote]That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific[/p][/quote]Rhodes has scored 16 goals this season,its only Feb, so not a bad return. Grabban has 13, so thats pretty good. Pitman has 7 ( and hardly ever plays) TWENTY FOUR MATCHES LATER......Rantie has scored...erm...3 ? Bargain............. ............[/p][/quote]Absolutely agree. Put Pitman in for Rantie. gtd
  • Score: -3

8:23pm Tue 25 Feb 14

ben611 says...

gtd wrote:
eaststandman wrote:
bobsworthforever wrote:
eaststandman wrote: Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc. Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......
That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific
Rhodes has scored 16 goals this season,its only Feb, so not a bad return. Grabban has 13, so thats pretty good. Pitman has 7 ( and hardly ever plays) TWENTY FOUR MATCHES LATER......Rantie has scored...erm...3 ? Bargain............. ............
Absolutely agree. Put Pitman in for Rantie.
agree bit pitman is sooo slow at this level! we need someone like Le Fondre
[quote][p][bold]gtd[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bobsworthforever[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eaststandman[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the posts. We play lovely football etc,etc. Unfortunately, because we can't score goals, we are always relying on the opposition not to score either. Trouble is, at this level they can, and do......[/p][/quote]That's all very well but March is not February we are heading for about 60 points way above relegation that's not bad for our first season in the Championship.Any way Jordan Rhodes cost 8 million hasn't scored for 8 games that makes TK a bargain and as for Grabban hes playing terrific[/p][/quote]Rhodes has scored 16 goals this season,its only Feb, so not a bad return. Grabban has 13, so thats pretty good. Pitman has 7 ( and hardly ever plays) TWENTY FOUR MATCHES LATER......Rantie has scored...erm...3 ? Bargain............. ............[/p][/quote]Absolutely agree. Put Pitman in for Rantie.[/p][/quote]agree bit pitman is sooo slow at this level! we need someone like Le Fondre ben611
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Tue 25 Feb 14

lymicherry says...

Well, you certainly don't get clean sheets by scoring second. Fatuous non-story.
Well, you certainly don't get clean sheets by scoring second. Fatuous non-story. lymicherry
  • Score: 2

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