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First team

Ethan Laird on pre-promotion pressure

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

On-loan defender Ethan Laird has shared that he experienced a new dimension of pressure with AFC Bournemouth.

The attacking full-back arrived at Vitality Stadium on loan from Manchester United during the January transfer window.

Having spent the first half of the season with eventual 15th-placed finishers Swansea City, Laird also had time away from the Red Devils with MK Dons during the 2020/21 term.

With the right-back also being in mid-table with MK, Laird’s half a season with the Cherries has given him a first taste of chasing promotion.

Speaking to afcb.co.uk, he spoke on the pressure of looking to go up: “I’m a young lad, I’m only 20 years old.

“Being here and experiencing a promotion, being in a Championship side, working for promotion, there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of things that come with it."

“But it’s all happy, happy feelings and we’re just going to keep doing what we do.”

Despite the pressure that has come with being on the hunt for a return to the top flight of English football, Laird lauded the side’s ability to remain focussed.

Not only that, but also the behind-the-scenes hard work which culminated in Kieffer Moore’s strike against Nottingham Forest sending the club back to the Premier League.

“I think it’s been very easy to see our feelings about promotion, we’re all buzzing,” Laird said. “We stuck to our task the whole season.”

“Obviously, I came in January and I feel for the lads because they’ve been working their butts off since the start of the season and now we're at the promised land.

“Everyone’s happy, everyone’s buzzing, the fans are buzzing, the gaffer’s happy – I’m speechless.”

With the Manchester United man admitting to being “speechless”, he shared that it may have been a result of helping keep the mood in camp high.

“I didn’t stop screaming for days after the Forest game, I was keeping the vibes going in camp.

“I realise that there are repercussions to that – losing my voice!”

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