TOMMY Elphick has urged Cherries to draw on their Luis Suarez experience as they bid to keep £5.5million striker Britt Assombalonga quiet at Dean Court tonight (7.45pm).
Eddie Howe’s men take on a Nottingham Forest side expected to include former Peterborough frontman Assombalonga, the second-highest scorer in League One last season.
Cherries captain Elphick says the weighty transfer fee of the 21-year-old should not faze him and his back four – because they stopped then-Liverpool striker Suarez from scoring in the FA Cup fourth round in January.
Suarez was ultimately destined to move to Barcelona for a reported £75m this summer and Elphick was keen to emphasise that a large transfer fee was no guarantee of success in front of goal.
Speaking about Assombalonga, Elphick said: “It’s a hefty price tag but we came up against Luis Suarez last year and he had a big price tag as well, so we’re experienced in that department.
“He’s got bags of potential and ability but, hopefully, we won’t see too much of that on Tuesday. We’ll look into his strengths and qualities and we’ll have a game plan to nullify them.
“You have to look at how the whole team get the ball to Assombalonga and stop that at sourceso we can keep him out of the game for as long as possible.
“There are plenty of powerful lads in the Championship and you just have to try and play to your strengths and keep that power outside the box.
“Every game is hard and they seem to get harder week in, week out. When you look beyond Nottingham Forest, we play Blackburn and Norwich in the league and we’ll be talking about Jordan Rhodes and then Lewis Grabban.
“As a back four we just need to keep churning out clean sheets and seeing off these strikers. We’ve kept three clean sheets already and we’ve got a solid base to kick on from.”