Scott Parker makes key AFC Bournemouth admission ahead of Fulham showdown

Scott Parker makes key AFC Bournemouth admission ahead of Fulham showdown
© Provided by Football League World Championship – Derby County v AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth manager Scott Parker has admitted it will be difficult to pick his players up from their weekend draw against Coventry City ahead of their top-two clash with Fulham on Friday evening, speaking to the Daily Echo.

The Cherries were on course for a much-needed win on Saturday after falling to a 3-2 away defeat against Derby County the previous weekend and only being able to draw away at Millwall in midweek, as Jaidon Anthony and Philip Billing put Parker’s men in control against the Sky Blues.

But Jefferson Lerma’s red card in the 68th minute after denying Matt Godden a goalscoring opportunity, just two minutes after his side doubled their advantage, completely changed the game as Mark Robins’ side turned up the heat on the home side at the Vitality Stadium.

It was Godden that halved the deficit for the visitors in the 85th minute, before Todd Kane’s cross in the fifth minute of stoppage find found its way into the net as they rescued a point, leaving the south-coast side dejected ahead of an important tie against league leaders Fulham.

The Cottagers were only able to draw their last two matches, but have stayed at the top of the tree due to Bournemouth’s winless run with one point currently separating the automatic promotion favourites.

Ahead of this Friday night tie at Craven Cottage, Cherries manager Parker admitted he will have a huge task in rejuvenating his side after suffering a last-minute blow on Saturday.

He said: “It will be difficult, of course it will. There’s no denying at this present moment in time, we’re hurting.

“There’s not really much I can say to the team other than we go back, relax and it will be on everyone’s mind tonight (Saturday) and tomorrow.

“We live in a world in football where you can’t dwell too much, because before you know it we have another big game on Friday. So we regroup and go again.”

The Verdict:

This may be an important game for the south-coast side after suffering setbacks in each of their last three games, but it’s arguably an even bigger match for Parker who faces his former side later on this week, looking to show the Cottagers what they are missing.

Friday’s game provides his current side with both an opportunity and a threat. Although the west London club’s home advantage and unbeaten run of nine league games may play in the hosts’ favour, the fact they have drawn their last two should be something the visitors should be looking to capitalise on.

Marco Silva’s side’s draw against bottom side Derby may have been demoralising after failing to be clinical enough in the final third, but the goal they conceded against Preston at the weekend was a more sickening blow with two potential handballs heavily contributing to Ched Evans’ equaliser.

This is why Parker’s side should be optimistic going into this game, despite this match being one of few they won’t be expected to take all three points in.

However, this status as underdogs is something they could take advantage of with less pressure on them, perhaps allowing Bournemouth to play with the freedom needed to win all three points.

Source

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