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First Team

Experienced campaigner Gosling is happy to help


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

In-form Dan Gosling is vowing to use his wealth of experience to help AFC Bournemouth through their sticky patch in the Premier League.

Gosling, at just 29, is one of the elder statesmen in the Cherries squad and was the oldest player in the starting line-up in the 2-0 defeat at Brighton.

The midfielder recently returned from a lengthy layoff to net a dramatic winner at Chelsea and was also on target during the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Boxing Day.

His exploits helped the Cherries collect four valuable points from a challenging period which saw a host of first-choice players added to a worsening injury list.

Gosling, who damaged his hip during pre-season, won two club awards in December – the Michael Matthews player of the month and Strategic Solutions goal of the month for his strike against Chelsea.

Starting with the visit of Watford to Vitality Stadium tomorrow, 18th-placed Cherries’ next three games are against teams currently in the bottom four with Norwich and Aston Villa to follow.

Gosling told afcb.co.uk: “Being one of the senior players in the dressing room and one of the leaders, you always try to help people and help the younger guys come through.

“When we get out of this sticky patch, hopefully, everyone will learn from it and will realise we don’t want to be down here again.

“When I was a young player coming through at Everton and Newcastle, you could see how people dealt with things.

“Although I didn’t play that much at Newcastle, we had one great season and the rest we were mid-table and battling every week.

“You see how people deal with different things in different ways and try to take things from that. You add them to your own experiences as well.”

Gosling has scored four times in his past eight starts in the Premier League, an impressive goal return which includes netting in his final two appearances last season.

He added: “It’s a nice stat and, hopefully, I can continue this rich vein of form. If I get a few more chances, hopefully, I can keep putting them away.

“I was on the bench for three games when I first came back in November. It’s tough getting back into it when you’ve been out for a long period of time.

“We weren’t performing well as a team so it has been hard. But I managed to keep my head down and work my way into the starting XI and, hopefully, I can stay there.”

Gosling, who is in his sixth season at Vitality Stadium, helped the Cherries pip Watford to the Championship title in 2014/15.

“It seems a long time ago now,” he said. “Both teams have done very well to stay in the Premier League and to have good finishes.

“They have picked up of late and have started very well under Nigel Pearson, their new manager. They might have found a formula this time.

“Hopefully, we can get back to winning ways after the FA Cup victory against Luton and start climbing the league.

“We know back-to-back wins are massive. When we beat Chelsea, we wanted to follow it up against Burnley but shot ourselves in the foot.

“It was a big blow to concede so late in the game but we can’t dwell on the past, it’s happened. We’re fully focused on Sunday.

“As a club, we have a strong mentality and, as a group of players, we believe in each other and have confidence in each other. If everyone does their job correctly, we will have a great chance of having a good outcome.”

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