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Man on the inside

15 March 2013

Barnard bids to become Cherry picker

Lee Barnard admits he has a point to prove tomorrow when Latics play AFC Bournemouth in npower League One at Boundary Park.

The on-loan Southampton striker spent the first half of the current campaign at Bournemouth.

Once Eddie Howe took over as manager, Barnard found he didn't feature in his plans.

Barnard (pictured) said: "I enjoyed my time with Bournemouth, but when Eddie came in I didn't play much which was disappointing, but I understood his reasons.

"It was a bit up and down. I just wanted to be playing so it will give me an added point to prove."

Barnard would love a goal, something he has twice previously achieved against former clubs. He scored against Crewe and Exeter, where he had loan spells early in his career, so will be looking to complete a hat trick.

As to whether he would celebrate a goal, Barnard said: "At the moment I have no plans to do so, but I suppose it depends on whether the Bournemouth fans give me any stick."

Barnard knows many of the players at Bournemouth from his recent stint at the club so has been the perfect person to provide a scouting dossier.

He says they have a very good squad and are looking to win promotion, but believes Latics can cause an upset.

Barnard explained: "Bournemouth have been struggling lately, though they had a good win at Stevenage in midweek.

"Hopefully we can put in a good performance and get the three points."

Barnard added he has received some friendly banter from the Bournemouth players in the build up to the game tomorrow.

"It will be strange playing against them, but I am looking forward to the game," he said.

Barnard will also be up against his Southampton team mate Dan Seaborne who is on loan with the Cherries and Steve Cook.

"I know how they play, but they also know my game so it will be interesting," he continued.

Barnard scored in each of his first two games for Latics, but has failed to find the net in each of his last five appearances.

He accepts such spells are part and parcel of football and Paul Gerrard, a member of the caretaker management team, is not worried.

Gerrard said: "Lee feeds off the service he receives. He can have a quiet game, but then come up with a goal.

"Lee is a top-class player as you can see by the fact he has been at top clubs.

"He is a great finisher in training and he is not short of confidence and hopefully he will be back on the scoresheet tomorrow."
 














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