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AFC Bournemouth: Francis keen to keep providing the assists
SIMON Francis has received assurances from Yann Kermorgant that his assists count will begin ticking over on a regular basis, as long as he continues to send in special deliveries.
The right-back displayed his crossing prowess by supplying two pinpoint centres for striker Kermorgant to head home in the 5-0 mauling of Doncaster.
There was only one assist to Francis’ name for the 2013/14 Championship campaign prior to the Dean Court clash, that coming when the defender crossed for Marc Pugh to net a consolation in the 5-1 defeat at Huddersfield in August.
However, he trebled his tally for the season against lacklustre Donny, playing a significant role in Kermorgant’s first career hat-trick.
And now the 29-year-old has revealed he was the beneficiary of a confidence-boosting message from his former Charlton team-mate following Saturday’s triumph.
Francis told the Daily Echo: “Yann said he wanted more of the same from me and that I would definitely be getting more assists if I kept putting balls in like that, which was nice of him to say.
“They were pretty good crosses. The first one took a little bobble and I noticed and just tried to caress it in and fortunately it landed on his head.
“The second one I knew where he’d be and just put a ball in an area. A striker of Yann’s quality wants good balls delivered into the area and I think he got that all day. Fortunately for me, I chipped in with a couple.
“I don’t think I’ve gone as long as I have since my first assist. It was nice for me, although of course the important thing is winning games. As an attacking full-back, I want to be involved with the goals. I want to score more and create more and Saturday was perfect really.”
Although all three of Kermorgant’s goals came from crosses – Ian Harte laid on the Frenchman’s opener – Francis is adamant that Cherries have changed their passing style to profit from the size of the former Leicester front man.
Francis believes Cherries are better suited to keeping the ball on the deck for the majority of their build-up play, so as to make the most of the forward’s technical abilities.
He added: “The manager said that if we get in an area, especially with Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser’s quality, then we want to get balls in the box.
“That doesn’t mean that we want to go direct and hang balls up to Yann and I don’t think we did that at all.
“We played balls into feet, worked off Yann and then when we got in the areas in the final third, it would have been stupid to turn down crossing opportunities because he’s so good in the air.
“I think he’s going to beat the majority of defenders and he showed that against Doncaster.”
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