STEVE Fletcher has urged the Cherries defence to be wary of the threat posed by familiar foe Lauri Dalla Valle.

The Cherries legend believes the Finnish prospect will have improved from gaining further experience since his Dean Court loan spell in 2010-11.

Fulham frontman Dalla Valle netted two goals in eight appearances for Cherries after joining the club while Fletcher was assistant boss.

Now enjoying a fruitful spell with Crewe, the 21-year-old is set to start when Cherries visit their League One rivals tomorrow (3pm).

The young forward has hit four goals in eight starts for the Gresty Road outfit this term and Fletcher thinks Cherries will need to keep tabs on him.

“I think he will be the same player technically,” veteran targetman Fletcher told the Daily Echo. “Technically, he was a very good player.

“He has been out on loan a few times in Scotland and England and he is one of those players who will become better with |the more games he plays at this level.

“He has scored goals wherever he has been so he is a more than capable player and he is someone we have definitely got to watch out for.”

Reflecting on Dalla Valle’s brief stint in Dorset, Fletcher added: “Lauri scored a great goal with practically his first touch in a 3-0 home win over Oldham. He came off the bench and within 10 minutes, he had scored a great goal, and I think the expectations were really high.

“He did get one or two good goals for us but coming down from being at Fulham in the Premier League to play regularly in League One, I think he needed time to adapt to the pace of the game.

“But he did okay for us and scored a couple of vital goals. I think he just needed more time and, unfortunately, we couldn’t give him that time.”

Meanwhile, Crewe boss Steve Davis insists Cherries will not be the only team in confident mood when two of the division’s form sides lock horns.

Cherries are unbeaten in 13 matches since Eddie Howe’s return but Crewe are also in fine fettle – having won three league games in a row.

Davis told his club’s website: “As we know from last season, going on a long run undefeated gives you great confidence.

“Saying that, we come into the game in good form as well. We have only lost two games in our previous 10 matches so it is set up to be a really good test and a really good game of football.

“It will be a challenge for us but one the players and supporters will be looking forward to.”

Davis is set to recall fit-again midfielder Abdul Osman.

Alex: (from) Martin, Davis, Ellis, Dugdale, Tootle, Robertson, Murphy, Inman, Aneke, Pogba, Dalla Valle, Clayton, Moore, Mellor, Guthrie, West, Colclough, Osman, Garratt.

Cherries: (from) James, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Fogden, Arter, O’Kane, Pugh, Pitman, Grabban, Fletcher, McQuoid, McDermott, Tubbs, Partington, Davids, Demouge, Hughes, Zubar, Buchel, Jalal.