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Counter-attack threat

14 March 2013

Philliskirk identifies Cherries' strength


Tony Philliskirk is relishing the challenge as relegation-threatened Latics prepare for plays hosts to promotion-chasing AFC Bournemouth on Saturday,

Latics' Caretaker Manager has identified the threat from their next opponents saying Bournemouth are deadly on the counter attack.

He explained: "Bournemouth will be at their most dangerous when we are attacking and, if we let them play, they will cause us problems.

"They are a good footballing team as is any team managed by Eddie Howe. They have a healthy budget and signed some very good players. That has enabled them to compete at the top end of the table.

"The bottom line is that we have to try and stop them playing which is what we have been working on all week.

"We have to impose ourselves on them because, if we sit off them and let them play, they will certainly cause problems and hurt us.

"As I have long maintained, it is about us and I think we have the players to be able to do that and win the match.”

Philliskirk pointed out the resources of the Cherries are such that they were able to splash out a fee of between £400,000 and £500,000 in the January transfer window on Swindon Town’s Matt Ritchie.

Bournemouth’s side includes top scorer Lewis Grabban, a former Latics loanee, who has found the net 13 goals. Goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan also had a spell at Boundary Park.

Howe returned for a second spell as manager in October with the club in the lower reaches of League One.

He oversaw a remarkable transformation as the Cherries went on a run of only two defeats in 25 games, and one of those was in the FA Cup with Budweiser against Premier League Wigan Athletic. It took them to top spot.

Bournemouth had a recent wobble in which they lost five games in a row to slip out of the top six, but they returned to winning ways in midweek with a 1-0 victory at Stevenage.

Latics lost 4-1 at the Goldsands Stadium in November, but have a good record against the Cherries at Boundary Park registering wins in their last three games against them,

Philliskirk was disappointed that the midweek home game against Hartlepool United was postponed through a frozen Boundary Park pitch.

A win against Pools would have lifted Latics out of the bottom four relegation places and Philliskirk added he would prefer to have the points as opposed to having two and three games in hand on other teams at the bottom of the table.


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