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AFC Bournemouth: Lewis Grabban sets sights on individual goalscoring record
LEWIS Grabban helped fire Cherries a step closer to the Championship play-offs before setting his sights on carving his name in the Dean Court record books.
Grabban took his goal tally for the season to 19 when he netted a quick-fire double during Cherries’ 4-2 victory over Birmingham at St Andrew’s on Saturday.
And the 26-year-old Londoner’s exploits saw him draw level with Luther Blissett as the club’s highest league goal-scorer in a second-flight campaign.
Blissett, top scorer during Cherries’ final two seasons in Division Two, hit 19 goals in 1988-89 to propel Harry Redknapp’s men to 12th – the highest finish in the club’s history.
Grabban, whose previous best for a season had been 18 in League Two with Rotherham, has notched six goals in March as Cherries have reduced from 14 to five points the gap to the top six.
In an interview with the Daily Echo, Grabban, whose second goal against the Blues came from the penalty spot, said: “It would be a good achievement to get my name in the club’s record books and it is something I will be aiming to do in the final seven games of the season.
“I have met Luther Blissett a few times and have seen photos of him around the ground. Trying to score 20 goals a season is something every striker wants to do and it would be great if I could reach that target as soon as possible.”
Grabban’s double was sandwiched between Matt Ritchie’s opener and Ian Harte’s first goal for the club as Cherries raced into a 4-0 lead against the Blues, repeating their heroics from the midweek win over Leeds.
And although Manchester United loan star Federico Macheda reduced the arrears, Cherries stood firm to record their seventh away win of the season, eclipsing the previous best in the second tier, set in 1987-88.
Grabban added: “We started well again and we were able to build on the early goal. We had planned to play well and get a positive result but to go 3-0 up as early as we did was a bonus. It was a great achievement to get such a good result against a massive club with such a rich history and tradition.
“We are closing in on the play-offs and that shows how far we have come in the past few months. The only thing we can do is take it game by game and that is what has been giving us success. We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves or looking too far ahead. We are in a good position so let’s see what happens from here on in.
“Everyone wants to get to the play-offs and then the Premier League. If we can maintain our form and slip into the play-offs, it would be unbelievable.”
Discussing Grabban’s contribution, boss Eddie Howe said: “He has been excellent for us this season and has deserved his goal tally. He has improved at the level and his work rate has been outstanding. Hopefully, he will reach the landmark because he would deserve to.”
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