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Club News


29 January 2016

BBC Radio Solent's Kris Temple gives us the lowdown on AFC Bournemouth

PFC: How are Bournemouth faring in their first season in the top-flight?

KT: They’re learning lessons all the time about what you can, and can’t, get away with at the very top level. Of course they’ve been well-backed financially, but they’re only spending the sort of money that is the norm for the majority of clubs in the Premier League.

Given the ravaging early-season injury list, they were desperately waiting for the January window to arrive and have strengthened accordingly.

The infrastructure at the club has come on a huge level as well – again simply to meet the demands of the Premier League.

Eddie Howe has admitted himself that he’s not comfortable with the money that swills around in the division, but this is the modern age and you have to spend to be competitive.

PFC: Can Bournemouth progress further with their limited ground capacity?

KT: There were plans mooted last year about increasing the capacity, but that was put on hold, principally, I think, to see if they stay in the division.

If they do, I imagine they’ll be looking to ramp it up to around 16,000 (the ground currently holds 11,000 on a matchday). They can only fit 1,400 away fans in at the moment, which is low for the Premier League, but home fans also find it very competitive to get a ticket for games. It’s sold out each week.

To maximise their exposure in the town (although the profile has jumped hugely since promotion), they need to be able to tap into the occasional and newer fans too – and not just the season ticket holders.

PFC: Are there any concerns about where the money is coming from?

KT: The only people that truly know whether the club is built on sand or stone are the money men at the very top. They say they’re in it for the long haul and that’s refreshing to hear because there are so many flash-in-the-pan owner stories in football.

We saw Pompey overspend dramatically and then pay almost the heaviest possible price. I don’t think it’s too negative to say that a lot of fans would have that fear in the back of their minds somewhere, but at the moment they’re enjoying the short-term, while hoping the long-term is brighter still.

PFC: Is Eddie Howe likely to ring the changes for Saturday’s visit to Fratton Park?

KT: Eddie Howe has become a master of the cloak-and-dagger approach when it comes to team news. But in the last round they made 11 changes and gave debuts to some of the under-21s, which was quite surprising.

Eddie is often loyal to those who’ve done well, but I would expect maybe one or two changes to that team.

Of those likely to play, Lewis Grabban will be keen to get his first goal since returning and Marc Pugh will give the Pompey full-backs a few tricks to think about.

PFC: With Premier League survival the ultimate aim, will Bournemouth welcome an FA Cup run this season?

KT: As a Premier League club – and as Pompey know very well – reaching a cup final is very realistic given some handy draws.

Because the league side is relatively settled, there are plenty of players who welcome the game time in the cups.

But the Cherries could do with some luck in the draw – today is their seventh straight away cup tie! 100 per cent, though, survival is all that matters.

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