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First team

Stacey keen to pen the next chapter

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

One of Jack Stacey’s favourite books could have been written by Scott Parker.

An avid reader of non-fiction, the pages of The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday have stuck with Stacey.

It was inspired by the philosophy of stoicism and offers individuals a framework to flip obstacles into opportunities.

“The core is that if you can’t control something, don’t worry about it and focus on what you can control,” said Stacey, speaking to afcb.co.uk.

Stacey has played an important role in helping the Cherries maintain a sustained promotion push this season, starting 23 games in the Championship and coming off the bench once.

From the highs of featuring in five successive victories in October, Stacey also experienced the lows of the six-match winless run in the lead-up to Christmas.

Having won back-to-back promotions from League Two to the Championship with Luton, Stacey is keen to complete the set by helping the Cherries regain a place in the Premier League.

But in common with his head coach and team-mates, the 25-year-old, who is studying towards a degree in business and economics, is not getting ahead of himself.

“It’s a cliché, but it really is one game at a time,” said the buccaneering defender. “We know we’re in a good position and we know how quickly the games are coming around.

“We just have to focus on winning the next game. If we do that for the last 12 then we should end up in a good place.

“For me personally, I’ve played a lot of games this season and have enjoyed being part of the team.

“Like most other teams, we’ve had good runs and not-so-good runs. I just want to help the team get across the finishing line.

“I can only speak for myself – I know where we sit in the table and I know who’s below us. Apart from that, I don’t do all the maths to see what might happen if one team beats another.

“We’ve been up there from the start of the season so, potentially, that does add a bit of pressure but it’s something we’ve had to deal with and nothing changes.

“Every team has had its bumps. We had a 15-match unbeaten start and also had a run where we didn’t win for a few games.

“We can’t get carried away if we find ourselves either side of those runs because it happens to every team in this division. It’s such a competitive league that it’s always going to happen.

“I’d like to think my experience of two promotions will help, especially around this time of the season. You need to keep your head and see out games.

“We’ve got plenty of other players who have achieved great things and also achieved promotion so we know you can’t get carried away because nothing is decided with 12 games to go.”

The first of those 12 games is against Stacey’s former club Reading where he spent 13 years after joining when he was eight.

Bracknell-born Stacey made six appearances for the Royals and was handed his Championship debut when he was 18.

Reading arrive at Vitality Stadium having been docked six points in November for breaking the EFL’s financial regulations.

Currently 21st and four points above the drop zone, the Royals parted company with manager Veljko Paunovic last month and replaced him with Paul Ince on an interim basis.

Asked whether he was surprised by their plight, Stacey said: “I would say surprised.

“If you look at the individual quality they have in their squad, it should be comparable with any in the division, certainly the starting 11 should be.

“There seems to be a lot of uncertainty and I think that has definitely impacted on performances.

“From our point of view, we know that on any given day, they can perform and be one of the best teams in this division so we have to try to stop them. This is the Championship and there are no easy games.”

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