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First team

Rico: I want to take my chance

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Diego Rico is hoping to continue to stake a claim for a regular starting berth following his impressive display in AFC Bournemouth’s win over Everton.

Rico had a hand in Callum Wilson’s two goals, delivering the corner for his 23rd-minute opener and providing the assist for his delightful second which made it 3-1 to the Cherries.

The Spaniard also played his part in a solid defensive showing as Eddie Howe’s team registered their first home Premier League win of the season.

Rico has been restricted to 19 appearances in all competitions since joining the Cherries from La Liga outfit Leganes in the summer of 2018.   

The 26-year-old spent much of his first year at Vitality Stadium behind Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith in the left-back pecking order.

And while he will face competition from Lloyd Kelly, who is returning to fitness following a pre-season injury, Rico is determined to seize his opportunity with both hands.

In an interview with afcb.co.uk, he was asked about how he has had to be patient and bide his time.

“Yes, that’s true,” he replied. “In football, sometimes you have to wait for your opportunity and then take the chance when you get it. That’s what I’m trying to do.

“I will keep training at the maximum and will give it everything on the training pitch so I can perform at the very best of my ability every time I am called upon.”

Rico has featured 14 times in the Premier League, making seven starts and seven appearances from the bench.

“The Everton win was a great game from the whole team. Everybody gave it their all and the result reflected that.

“Personally, I was very happy with my performance. I’ve had a lot of help from all my colleagues and that was crucial for me.

“We need to prepare well for what will be a tough game at Southampton. But if we show the same effort and desire, we will have a good chance.”

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