AFC Bournemouth skipper Tommy Elphick: Clean sheets as important as goals

LEADING THE WAY: Cherries skipper Tommy Elphick

LEADING THE WAY: Cherries skipper Tommy Elphick

First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

CAPTAIN Tommy Elphick was impressed with the hunger shown by his team-mates to keep a clean sheet against Huddersfield.

Cherries opened their Championship campaign with a 4-0 victory in West Yorkshire and the centre-half was as pleased with the shutout as he was by the visitors’ attacking prowess.

The Dean Court side kept 10 clean sheets in all competitions last season and Elphick, 26, revealed that boss Eddie Howe had emphasised his desire for an improvement.

Elphick told the Daily Echo: “The message before the game was that clean sheets were going to be just as important as goals this season.

“You can play open, expansive football but when it’s time to defend and get behind the ball you need to have the mentality to do that. I think we showed that on Saturday, even at 4-0 up with a minute to go. We defended set pieces as if it was still 0-0.

“The discipline of the centre-midfielders and the wingers especially was pleasing. Callum Wilson and Yann Kermorgant put in a shift as well and that helped make the work of the back four easier.”

Elphick ended the day with an assist after his lofted pass down the right flank led to Wilson scoring Cherries’ second goal.

The early ball into the channels was a regular feature of the away side’s play and the ex-Brighton defender felt it was an effective tactic.

He added: “I think we exposed their 3-5-2 formation quite well. When the strikers pull wide it gives the wing-back and the wide centre-half something to think about.

“I’m more pleased with the clean sheet than the assist, although it was nice to set up a goal and Steve Cook played a good ball for one of the goals as well.”

Comments (3)

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8:44am Mon 11 Aug 14

c0ckbeard says...

Absolutely, Huddersfield, clearly missed Clayton and Vaughn, but we didn't keep many clean sheets last season, shipping late goals when two or three up already. Very pleasing to see us start the season with one. 45 more and I'll be a happy chap
Absolutely, Huddersfield, clearly missed Clayton and Vaughn, but we didn't keep many clean sheets last season, shipping late goals when two or three up already. Very pleasing to see us start the season with one. 45 more and I'll be a happy chap c0ckbeard
  • Score: 7

9:48am Mon 11 Aug 14

Afcbpete says...

Although our goal difference last season wasn't an issue, it very nearly was, so clean sheets could well be hugely important, in the over all scheme of things. Not only that, I think it instils confidence right through the team.
A wonderful start, to what I believe is going to be an impressive, and exciting season!! UTCIAD
Although our goal difference last season wasn't an issue, it very nearly was, so clean sheets could well be hugely important, in the over all scheme of things. Not only that, I think it instils confidence right through the team. A wonderful start, to what I believe is going to be an impressive, and exciting season!! UTCIAD Afcbpete
  • Score: 9

11:53am Mon 11 Aug 14

Andifer says...

Too true clean sheets will certain gain us points this year as with our strike force we are capable of scoring against anyone. IMHO we still look vulnerable against crosses, corners especially and there are some big strikers in this division ! But we are top of the league this morning how many times have we been able to say that and we must look forward to this season with optimism whatever happens. Come on you Cherries !!!
Too true clean sheets will certain gain us points this year as with our strike force we are capable of scoring against anyone. IMHO we still look vulnerable against crosses, corners especially and there are some big strikers in this division ! But we are top of the league this morning how many times have we been able to say that and we must look forward to this season with optimism whatever happens. Come on you Cherries !!! Andifer
  • Score: 2

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