FOLLOWING yet another disappointing result last weekend, Town fans are becoming increasingly impatient with their under-achieving side and will want a positive reaction and a decent result to last week's defeat.
Town meet Bournemouth for the first time since that unforgettable day at Wembley in April 1998. Unfortunately, the stakes are lower this time and the venue somewhat less attractive. Bournemouth have had an excellent season back in Division Two after their promotion from Division Three last season. They have one of the most highly-rated young managers in the lower leagues in the form of Sean Oâ€™Driscoll and currently in 6th place, will have realistic aspirations of yet another play-off adventure.
Sean Oâ€™Driscoll . (left) Manager since August 2000, Oâ€™Driscollâ€™s appointment seems to have been success for the Dean Court side. He guided the Cherries to a quick return to division two last season after relegation a few seasons ago. Now he has built a side based on both youth an experience, that although may be thin, is proving critics that thought they would be at the foot of the table, wrong.
One of the club's most experienced players is goalkeeper Neil Moss who is in his second spell with the club after joining them as a trainee in 1993. He rejoined the club last year after spells with Gillingham and Southampton. One of the survivors from the Wembley game in the 97/98 season is striker Steve Fletcher (left) who has been with the club since 1992. Surrounding him are the likes of Warren Feeney and Marcus Browning. Feeney is the clubs top scorer this season, whilst Browning has brought a wealth of lower league experience to the side.
Town are still sweating on the fitness of Michael Boulding for their trip to the South Coast. If he fails to recover from his hip injury, then Phil Jevons will continue up front with Iffy Onours. But if Boulding is fit, Groves will face his toughest and perhaps most crucial decision of the season - whether to drop Onoura and play Jevons.
Defender Simon Ford could be set for a place on the bench after playing 90 minutes for the reserves against Boston earlier this week. Alan Pouton though is still a few weeks away from being in the squad.
Cherries' Captain Carl Fletcher (who incidentally made his debut vs Town in the 97/98 season) will miss out with a one game suspension after collecting five yellow cards this season. Jason Thomas could replace him in midfield.
Alan Connell played in a reserve game this week and could make the squad with the club so short of midfield players. Only last week, Jason Tindall learnt he needed an operation to repair torn a cartilage pad in his knee
Whilst reserve goalie Gareth Stewart was injured in that game and will miss out.
Probable Starting XI's
Last Time Out
Town last met Bournemouth at the Twin Towers of Wembley Stadium in April 1998, and need I remind you of the score? I think not...
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