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First Team

Parker heaps praise on 'first class' Brooks


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker presided over a club record-equalling League Cup victory before singling out two-goal hero David Brooks for special praise.

Brooks’s finely-taken double, coupled with goals from Dominic Solanke, Phil Billing and debutant Christian Saydee, saw the Cherries ease into the second round in Parker’s first competitive game in charge.

The scoreline matched the club’s previous best in the competition, a 5-0 drubbing of Dagenham & Redbridge in August 2011 when Lyle Taylor’s late brace added to goals from Marc Pugh, Shaun Cooper and Liam Feeney.

Wales international Brooks paved the way for the win over the League One outfit when he opened the scoring with a majestic first-time finish, his goal coming after he had missed a couple of presentable chances.

Parker, speaking at his post-match press conference, said: “I was pleased for him because I thought he started the game poorly. He missed a couple of big chances, good chances.

“I’ve been in the arena and, in those moments, sometimes you can shirk away from responsibility and maybe feel a bit sorry for yourself and think it’s not your day.

“The first goal was an unbelievable finish. You could arguably say the ones before it were much easier than that so fair play to David.

“Again, in the second half, he was in the right place and it was another lovely finish. It was a good Saturday afternoon for him so I was pleased.

“In terms of the way we play, he can beat men one-v-one. Can we get the ball to him in those advanced areas where he can be deadly?

“He’s been first class and there is still loads of improvement. I see someone still young in his ways. His technical ability is really good and we need to clean up the finer details of his game.

“But I have someone who looks you in the eye and who comes out every day wanting to improve and get better. When you sit here as a coach, that’s all you want.

“You want coachable players, you want players who are responsive and want to get better and, in David, I’ve got that.”

Dissecting the game, Parker said: “Overall, I was really pleased. There were elements of the game I didn’t like, elements we need to improve and get better at and elements I really liked and enjoyed.

“The intensity of our game in the second half was where it needed to be. At times in the first half that wasn’t the case and I thought we lacked a little bit of an intensity.

“If you sit off and give a yard, it can become a long day playing against a possession-based team that really want to dominate the ball.

“I wanted us to take the game to them, like I will for the majority of the season. I wanted us to assert our pressure on them. At half-time, we needed to address that. We scored within two minutes and were really on the front foot and pushed on from there.”

Parker was also asked about debutant Saydee, man of the match Gavin Kilkenny and Jack Stacey who was substituted in the first half.

He said: “It was a brilliant afternoon for Christian. He’s worked extremely hard and he deserved his goal.

“I’ve liked his work ethic because he came in with us and there was an element I didn’t like in terms of his physicality.

“He embraced the challenge I set for him and he embraced the hard work when others may have shirked away or may have quit.

“Christian has shown resilience and character and has got himself in a position to be able to do what he did today so it was fully deserved.

“Gav’s done really well. He’s got good work in him in the past five or six weeks and I see someone who’s growing again.

“He grew into the Chelsea game and did very well and, today, he got an assist and was always around it. He was very good tactically at times. There is still loads to come from Gav but again, I was pleased for him.

“There was a little issue with Jack and that was probably the disappointing thing from today’s game.

“He felt his quad so we will have to see how bad it is but that’s probably the slight worry.”

Parker also confirmed he anticipated Sam Surridge returning to full training on Monday after the striker sat out against Dons as a precaution.

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