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O'Kane: There are plenty of hungry players ready to take their chance

Posted: Sat 09 Jan 2016

AFC Bournemouth midfielder Eunan O’Kane is hoping to start today’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Birmingham City and is eager to take his opportunity if he does.

Manager Eddie Howe stated there will be changes for the third round trip to St. Andrews in his pre-match press conference and O’Kane is hoping to be given his seventh start of the season.

The 25-year old has been called upon off the bench in recent weeks and is hoping to take any chance he is given to get into the manager’s thoughts and put a frustrating spell out of the starting XI behind him.

He told Cherries Player HD: "It will be another opportunity if the manager rotates the squad for the players who haven’t been playing to give him a nudge.

"I’m one of those players and of course it’s frustrating to come off the bench. But today is a game where hopefully I can start and it’s a great opportunity if I do to give him a nudge and maybe get some more football.
"But it’s up to me take that chance to say that to him at the end of the game.

"It’s a difficult position for both the manager and the players, but when the team is picking up points it’s hard to say ‘why am I not playing?’

"If we do go with a rotated squad today there will be a lot of hungry players looking to take their chance."

That chance for O’Kane comes at St. Andrews, a ground where the Cherries have had plenty of good fortune over recent times.

In fact, AFC Bournemouth are unbeaten at St. Andrews in the eight times they have played there in the history of the fixture.

But the Irish midfielder is adamant that the game will not be as straightforward as the stats suggest and expects a completely different encounter to last season’s 8-0 win in the Midlands.

"The trip to St. Andrews has been quite nice to us in recent times," he continued.

"We’ve had some big wins there and we’re all looking forward to going back.

"But as the Gaffer has said, it will be a completely different game to last year. They’re doing well in the Championship and the new manager has them improving steadily. So it’s a different test but one we’ll be looking to come through.

"We’ve had a few good cup runs but now the roles are slightly reversed, everybody will want to beat us and we have to be professional. 

"We were in the same position in similar circumstances against West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup last year, so we understand the situation and hopefully can thrive on a positive result.”

For O’Kane’s full interview, as well as manager Eddie Howe’s pre-match thoughts ahead of today’s game, click here to subscribe to Cherries Player.