View From The Town End: Bournemouth

Charlie Crowhurst

So five points clear with six to go, nervous yet? While Reading may be trying to hang on, there's a pack of four teams behind them all hoping to make that late run into the top six, chief among them Bournemouth who we face tonight. Ahead of the trip to Dean Court we spoke to Peter Bell from Cherry Chimes who gave us the Bournemouth perspective on tonight's game.

How would you sum up Bournemouth's season so far?

Simply amazing! We never really expected too much this season as coming up to the Championship was always going to be a big challenge with so many former Premiership clubs in the division. The Cherries have always been a good passing side though and Eddie Howe was confident that the team would do well in this league with that style of play and he has been proved right.

We have still seen players improve massively though. Lewis Grabban is now a 20 goal a season striker at this level. Steve Cook has been sensational at the heart of defence, while Lee Camp has brought confidence to the back line. I think little Ryan Fraser on the left wing has also surpassed all expectations and must surely soon be in the thoughts of Gordon Strachan for a full Scottish cap.

You've been on a fantastic run to see yourselves move into play-off contention, how has Eddie Howe done it?

I would love to know what Eddie's secret is and so would most of the managers in the football league. He is such a quiet and unassuming manager that never gets over excited or particularly down after a game and he has improved his players all season. If you look back at the end of last season Bournemouth were on a similar run to see themselves promoted and I believe the team is using that experience to try and achieve something similar in the Championship. The team was not recording many clean sheets before March, but since then the defending has been excellent and the team has always been highly creative up front.

The signings that Eddie Howe made in January - Lee Camp and Yann Kermorgant - have been outstanding, while the veteran Ian Harte has covered admirably for the injured Charlie Daniels at left back.

Bournemouth picked up a 2-1 win at the Madejski Stadium earlier this season, what did you make of Reading that day and from what you've seen since?

While Reading lost the game I thought they were highly impressive, especially in the first 20 minutes when they should have scored a couple of times. To be honest, we were battered in those opening minutes but Reading didn't score. 

As the game progressed though the home crowd were perhaps a little frustrated and it helped Bournemouth's cause. I can understand that the Reading supporters might expect a win at home against a newly promoted side, but this was a game when I felt Reading perhaps over exposed there back line to Bournemouth's quick breaks.

Who should Reading fans be wary of on Tuesday?

I guess it is no secret that Lewis Grabban is on fire at the moment with 5 goals in 3 games. He even missed one-on-ones against both Birmingham and QPR in the last two matches so he should be sticking even more away really. His strike partner Yann Kermorgant has also added a new dimension to the team. We can now score from crosses and Kermorgant is a top finisher in the box.

Anyone Bournemouth fans are worried about?

Royston Drenthe was the player that I thought was different class in Readings team even though he only came on as a late sub at the Madejski against us. I also thought Danny Guthrie was a player that could run all day and was the man that Reading seemed to rely on to create things and unsettle sides so we'll be looking out for him too.

Score prediction?

That is a question that is so difficult to answer. We all know that this game is so important for both sides. It could almost cement Readings play-off position, but it could open the door to Bournemouth, Brighton, Ipswich or Nottingham Forest. Looking at Reading's away form, Nigel Adkins will be confident that he can get something and a draw would still be meaningful for Reading, but I just think the momentum is with AFC Bournemouth who are likely to extend their run with a 3-1 home win. But if Reading do win you will have deserved a place in the play-offs.

Any advice for fans making the trip down on Tuesday?

Firstly, enjoy the game and the atmosphere. Get there early and have a good look around the ground and the club shop because there is plenty to see. If you come by car the club car park does fill up quickly and is always a headache to get out of after the match.You can find spaces in the shopping centre in Boscombe and in some side roads if you are early. The train is a bit of a trek from the ground and due to local flooding I think it is only a bus service from around the Southampton area at the moment, so it's not currently a great option.
Our pies at the ground are pretty good and the burgers/hot dogs are also good value so there is plenty of good tucker.

Finally who do you see joining Leicester in the Premier League next year?

No one needs a crystal ball to see that Burnley are most likely to join Leicester City in the automatic places, but the play-offs are wide open. If Bournemouth can't get involved, for purely selfish close away game reasons I would not mind if QPR and Reading missed out. I think a Derby v Wigan play-off final would be fitting and if I have to choose I would like Wigan to get promoted if it is not us, because I like Dave Whelan and the Wigan fans. But there's still a long way to go and Forest, Brighton and Ipswich could still have a say in things.

Thanks again to Peter and you can follow him on twitter @PeterBell19

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