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First team

Parker toasts a perfect first half

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The Cherries made it 14 games unbeaten with a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield at Vitality Stadium – matching a 60-year club record to remain six points clear at the top of the Championship.

Head coach Scott Parker described the first-half performance as “perfect” after Dominic Solanke put the Cherries two goals in front after 21 minutes.

“We were perfect, a perfect first half," he said. "I thought we executed exactly the game plan in terms of what we wanted to be against a side that was defensively very, very good.

“With the ball, we were superb - I thought we locked down any threat that they posed us and really suffocated them.”

Following on from two away games, Parker stated it had been a big week for the club and explained why he had decided to keep the same starting 11 that had won against Stoke at the bet365 Stadium on Tuesday.

He said: “It’s been a massive week for us, two away games, Bristol City and Stoke, which were relentless in terms of the physical demand.

“I didn’t freshen it up today, I stuck with the same team from Stoke and that was proven right, but as the game went on, you probably saw some tired legs out there."

The Cherries went into the half-time break with a familiar two-goal lead, which is becoming a trend after leading Blackpool, QPR and Luton by that margin earlier in the campaign.

The head coach was well aware of how crucial the third goal was: “The second half was a little bit stickier and I think we have been here before in terms of 2-0 leads.

“It is a bit of a precarious position that you find yourself in because they have nothing to lose at that point and we always needed that third goal.

“I was pleased we got that from a set-play and then it was just about managing the game.”

Knowing that Huddersfield would play with a back five and look to frustrate AFC Bournemouth’s attacking threats, Parker was pleased with how his side took charge of the match and went looking for the win from the off.

He said: “I think we knew today and certainly what we worked on this week, we could have a lot of the ball and play in front of this team, but we want to score goals and win games.

“I think the first goal probably epitomised that in terms of risking the ball, runs off the back three, movements on the top line.

“The first goal comes from that, Dom’s run, Lloyd Kelly and then again the second goal with Ryan Christie as well.”

With Parker’s side now having matched the club record of 14 games unbeaten at the start of a league campaign, the head coach said that while breaking records is a positive there is still room for improvement.

He added: “The constant message to this team is processes, understanding what we need to do, and I always say we have quality in this team, we have technical ability.

“What you are seeing in this team is endeavour and a real work ethic first and foremost and that is what gives us the platform at this moment in time.

“It’s another win and we keep moving together but there are still areas we need to improve and get better at, but the records are pleasing.”

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