Ahead of the trip to take on Bournemouth, we had a chat with Cherry Chimes to find out about their season so far, thoughts on the game and much more.
Q. What did you make of the game at Selhurst Park earlier in the season?
I thought we were really unlucky not to pick up at least a point at Selhurst Park, considering Palace had 10-men for most of the game. It was a close game and I don’t think we played well enough with their heads. Palace allowed us to come on to them and then hit them on the break. Jeffrey Schlupp took his goal very well. we had the extra man and just didn’t use that space to their advantage. Those sort of games are ones when you really need to pick up something.
Q. How has the season been for you so far and what are you expecting from the run in?
Surprise, surprise, it’s not been a great season for Bournemouth fans. We seem to get injuries every week and the team is changed so much that they can’t get any consistency. It’s not that the players aren’t trying but they just get knock back after knock back. We are wondering who has run over half a dozen black cats?
What the team really needs is a clean sheet. We can’t expect to win games when we are conceding more than one and a half goals a game.
Q. Bournemouth seem to have had more than their fair share of injuries this season, but do you think there is a reason for this or is it just one of those seasons?
I am sure the physio team have been looking at the data on why so many players are having hamstring injuries, but anything else is down to bad luck. Bournemouth’s players are always among the fittest in the league and they are obviously worked hard but I am not sure if that makes them more prone to injuries. Whatever the case, the injuries have had a negative impact on our season. It is important that the players don’t feel sorry for themselves though. They have to get on with it and other players just have to try and step in and do well when they get their chance. If the squad is still not good enough then questions will be asked about recruitment., because you can’t say Bournemouth haven’t spent.
Q. Have the fans been critical of Eddie Howe and his management team in view of the predicament that you currently find yourselves in?
Most fans don’t believe Eddie Howe has been the root cause of the problems that the club has to deal with at this moment. There was a period in January when the mood went a little sour, but very quickly the fans understood that the club needed their support, if they were to mount a good challenge to stay up. Once we knew Eddie was going to stay, the fans responded and the home games have been excellent since the defeat to Watford. Bournemouth are much harder to beat at home now as Chelsea, Brighton and Aston Villa found out.
Q. The introduction of VAR this season has not gone to plan so far – what is your view of the system and how it is being used?
Bin it as soon as possible. I don’t care if the Premier League says most decisions are correct, it’s spoiling the game and just leads to more arguments. I liked the way it was used in the last World Cup, but if they are not prepared to let referees look at monitors I’m not having it. The referees need to be in charge not some distant officials in Stockley Park. I think some goals have been disallowed for some petty reasons and the advantage should be with the attacking team, so I’m not a fan of something that tries to reduce the amount of goals in games.
Q. Who will finish top four and bottom three this season?
Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City, Chelsea
Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa, Norwich City.
Of course, it could well be Bournemouth that go down, but we have to be optimistic. If the fans don’t think we can stay up we will lose fight and you have to hope the players feed off the fans’ passion and desire to stay up.
Q. What have you made of Palace this season?
Palace have done better than expected. I didn’t expect you to be in the bottom three but I did expect you to be in the bottom half. Roy Hodgson has the team well set up not to concede goals and you haven’t been so dependant on Wilfred Zaha this season which I think is a good thing. Jordan Ayew has stepped up in front of goal and nine clean sheets for Vicente Guaita is pretty good going.
Q. Where do you see Palace and Bournemouth finishing come the end of the season?
Palace could get into Europe if things go really well but I think the Eagles will land in ninth place. I think all Bournemouth fans would be very pleased if we took the 16th or 17th spot this season. It feels like we have been battling relegation all season and it’s draining. I just want the players to fight for every point.
Q. Name one player from each side that will be the ones to watch in this fixture?
James McCarthy is ever present for Palace this season and is a hard tackler. He doesn’t get many headlines but he makes Palace tick and is good at breaking up moves.
For Bournemouth, it has to be Josh King if he is back. He is such a physical attacker and doesn’t get pushed off the ball easily. I just hope he is over his hamstring strain.
Q. Your prediction?
We have been improving at home and it is average to score two goals at Dean Court per match. What I want to see us getting a clean sheet and making it a 2-0 win. We need the points!