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First team

Pearson - Everyone has welcomed me

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Two games into his AFC Bournemouth career and Ben Pearson is already feeling at home in his new surroundings, both on and off the pitch.

With a non-stop Championship schedule, the January signing from Preston North End had to wait just 11 days after joining for his first Cherries start, turning in an assured performance in the Emirates FA Cup win at Premier League Burnley last Tuesday.

His performance ensured he was selected from the start again at Nottingham Forest at the weekend, with the tough-tackler catching up with afcb.co.uk to assess his start to life in Cherries colours, all in his typically laid back and modest way.

"I thought the Burnley game was probably a good start for me," he said. "I didn't play my greatest game but didn't play poorly either. It was nice to get a steady game, get used to everyone.

"Then in the Forest game it was a tough one with the way that they play. It was difficult to get any flow and create chances.

"That was disappointing, not to get the three points, but in this league a point away is never too shabby. I think you can get overly disappointed with results like that, but if you can't win don't lose, that's the main thing."

Despite the long move down to the south coast for the first time in his career, Oldham-born Pearson is already settling into a new house in the area and has enjoyed getting to know his new team-mates.

"It's been really good," he said. "I came in and the lads welcomed me. Everyone was really nice and couldn't help me enough.

"It's been a nice start, it took a few training sessions to get used to the difference in standard, the different players and how people work but after playing a few more games and getting that bit more settled I'll hopefully have that rhythm in my game and can crack on."

A potential spanner was thrown into the works at the City Ground on Saturday, though despite leaving the pitch limping, the midfielder says he's already set and raring to go again.

"I feel fine," he said. "I did my ankle a couple of months ago quite badly so I was a bit worried with it being the same ankle.

"I woke up the next morning feeling okay, there's a bit of bruising but it's fine."

The positive availability news brings Wednesday's opponents into view, and the 26-year-old says he is ready for Rotherham.

"I haven't played against them this season but I have previously - and you know what you're going to get," he explained.

"It's my sort of a game, that kind of rough game with a lot of second balls where they make it tough and not a nice game to watch.

“It probably sums up this league really, every game you go into is different and for different reasons. It's sometimes about breaking teams down, letting us have the ball and sitting in a deep block.

"For Rotherham it will probably be completely different. They'll come up against us with a lot of man-for-man and a lot of turning the ball from them. It will be difficult.

"A lot of it depends on personnel as well, what type of game it is. If you need that steel in there you can sit in and try and dominate that middle. If you need to get on the ball you can go out wide to the full-backs when they push on.

"Our approach depends on the opposition we play, and it's down to the manager to dictate how we go about it."

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