Stopping Luis Suarez and Liverpool in FA Cup does not faze AFC Bournemouth…

28 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Stopping Luis Suarez and Liverpool in FA Cup does not faze AFC Bournemouth…
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Stopping Suarez? First I have to stop Watford’s Deeney! Cherries’ Elphick not fazed about FA Cup clash with Reds




At AFC Bournemouth, they are trying desperately to keep their feet on the ground.

Back in the second tier for only the second time in their history and with an FA Cup fourth-round tie against Liverpool a week on Saturday, things are certainly looking up.

Dream come true: Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick, left, is a Liverpool fan and is looking forward to facing the Reds in the FA Cup

On-form: Bournemouth will have their work cut out stopping Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in the FA Cup clash

‘We’ve got a big game on Saturday in the Championship against Watford, so it’s Troy Deeney first and then Luis Suarez,’ says the Bournemouth captain, with a smile.

It is an unenviable task given Suarez’s current form, but Elphick has been watching Match of the Day to pick up a few pointers.

There will ‘not be an sleepless nights’, either, since Bournemouth are eager to test themselves against ‘some of the best players in the world’.

Such is the feeling of optimism on the south coast, Elphick, one of four Liverpool supporters in the Bournemouth squad that beat Burton Albion 4-1 on Tuesday night, insists this tie will not ‘just be about Liverpool’.

No pain in the rain: Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie in action during the 4-1 win over Burton

‘We can’t pay Liverpool too much respect,’ he says. ‘They’ve got some of the best players in the world, but it’s not just about Liverpool, it’s about us as well.

‘We want to establish ourselves as a proper Championship team and that means bridging the gap with the next level, and that’s the Premier League.

‘Jamie Carragher was my hero, but it will be great to play against Steven Gerrard, and Suarez is just electrifying at the moment. To see where you are against those types of players will be a privilege.

‘It’s funny, because you watch Match of the Day and think: “I wouldn’t have done that; I would have done this.” You criticise the defenders a little bit. But we’ll see.

We’ll probably be on the back end of a few of those moves! It will be a great occasion, but there are always upsets, and that’s the beauty of this competition. You never know.’

Hero worship: Elphick is a big fan of former Reds defender Jamie Carragher, left and is looking forward to facing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

There is a feeling Bournemouth were owed a big tie in the FA Cup.

Boss Eddie Howe, 36, who has had four spells at the club as player and manager, admitted he has always been disappointed whenever the draw has been made.

Elphick, 26, was not even born when Harry Redknapp’s Bournemouth beat FA Cup holders Manchester United 2-0 in the third round in 1984, although he might be reminded of it a few times over the next few days.

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‘It would be unbelievable (to do that again),’ says Elphick.

‘Since I’ve been at this club we haven’t stopped breaking and equalling records so, if we can do something like that and write ourselves in history we would be remembered for a long time.’

Former manager: Harry Redknapp used to be Bournemouth boss and claimed the scalp of Manchester United in the FA Cup in 1984

The club has seen many changes since Redknapp’s success in the 1980s, however, with administration and two points penalties taking Bournemouth to the brink of relegation from the Football League in 2009.

They now have a Russian owner, petrochemicals trader Maxim Demin, who bought a 50 per cent stake in November 2011 and then took full control last September, yet appear to retain the community feel that saved the club from extinction less than five years ago.

Demin has appointed FA Council member Jeff Mostyn, part of the consortium which took over the club in 2009, as chairman and tends to let his money do the talking, bar his wife’s decision to address the players during a 1-0 defeat against MK Dons in February 2012.

Bournemouth unveiled a new crest last summer too, to mark ‘an exciting new era in the club’s history’.

Just reward: Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes the FA Cup run is something the fans and club deserve

This FA Cup run will see Bournemouth pocket at least £250,000, a sum Howe believes is just reward for the club’s owner and the fans who kept it going through the darker times.

‘That’s very important,’ said Howe. ‘We have relied very heavily on our owner for finances and it will be nice to have some income generated that doesn’t come from him.

‘So I’m pleased for him and I’m really pleased for the supporters because it will be a great game to watch.

‘As for Suarez? I think that’s something I will think about another day.’

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