STRIKER Brett Pitman knows Cherries must guard against complacency as they go in search of ending a 10-year wait to reach the third round of the League Cup.
Pitman could feature when Cherries look to negotiate a tricky second-round hurdle in the shape of League Two outfit Northampton at Dean Court tonight (7.45pm).
The Jerseyman made his debut in the competition as a teenager in 2005 – the season after Cherries had progressed to the last 32 following a penalty shootout win at Premier League Blackburn.
And with the Cobblers having pulled off one of the results of the first round by dumping out Wolves, Pitman knows Cherries will need to be on their mettle if they are to avoid a shock exit.
The 26-year-old, who played his part in Cherries’ 2-0 win at Exeter in the first round, told the Daily Echo: “Everybody knows what a great run Bradford went on to reach the final in 2013 and that just shows what clubs outside of the Premier League can do in this competition.
“If you get a few favourable draws then it is an opportunity to go far. But we need to think no further than trying to get past Northampton before we can start thinking about anything else.
“They will come here with no fear and no pressure and that will make them very dangerous opposition. I am sure they will fancy their chances and it is up to us to be at our best, like we were at Exeter.”
Pitman was one of no fewer than 11 changes made by boss Howe as Cherries eased past the Grecians a fortnight ago with a number of players again set to get their chance against Northampton.
And having come off the bench to spark a revival at Blackburn on Saturday, where his late penalty set up a grandstand finish, Pitman is determined to seize his opportunity.
Pitman added: “I think the team we had out at Exeter would probably win League One quite comfortably so it is by no means weaker. All 11 were first-team players and would want to play in the first team. It is a really strong squad so you need to be ready when you get your chance.
“I was on the bench at Huddersfield but didn’t come on and then didn’t feature in the next two league games. I got a chance at Blackburn and felt I made an impact so am hoping to do well against Northampton, if selected.”