Poppies will face a difficult visit to the Weyline Stadium against Portland United
Dan Davis / Giancarlo Bocchetti.
The hosts, who run 5th on the Wessex Premier League, suffered a 2-1 defeat on the 7th of August. That day, Steve Flynn and Ron Frost from the penalty spot, gave the first victory of the season to Poppies for the league.
Bournemouth FC coach Sean Leadbetter urged Poppies to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat ahead of tomorrow’s away trip to Portchester United. The Winton-based side conceded a last-gasp goal against high-flying Portchester on a tricky evening at Victoria Park, ending the club’s domestic unbeaten run.
The fixture list doesn’t get any easier for Poppies, who take on a Portland side in a strong run of form at the Weyline Stadium.
When asked about the clash, Leadbetter said he believed Poppies should expect a difficult encounter: “It’s going to be tough conditions against a physical side. They’re flying at the moment so it’s going to be a tough game. It was difficult last Saturday, we didn’t have Finchy (Mickey Finch) or Flynny (Steve Flynn). The conditions didn’t help, they were terrible. But we can’t do anything about it, we have to keep working hard and get the win on Saturday.”
The coach also explained that Poppies had been working hard in training during the week: “We’ve been doing some tactical work. It’s been high intensity, to keep the players’ fitness and keep them going. Ball work will be key for them on Saturday.”
Assistant coach and experienced player Fawzi Saadi said that Poppies had poor finishing to blame in last weekend’s defeat. “Apart from the weather conditions, the pitch was still quite hard to play on. I would say we dominated the game for 90 minutes, and then it was one individual error that cost us the game. It was poor marking and we ended up conceding the goal in the last minute of the game. You could say that we weren’t clinical enough, so hopefully we get it right this Saturday.”
Saadi also stressed that Poppies should focus on their own strengths ahead of another crucial Wessex Premier against Portland: “I’m not really worried about who we play against, it’s all about us. If we’re on it, and do the right things and principles, we can beat any team on our day.”
Manager Michael Cuffie welcomes back striking duo Mickey Finch and Steve Flynn, who had developed a lethal partnership before their respective suspensions.
Saadi believes that Flynn’s presence has been sorely missed for Poppies, and explained that he was relishing the chance to see him back in action. “Obviously, our target man and top goal scorer is back and we’re looking forward to setting him up again for hopefully a couple of goals”.
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