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Connell - Happy with the boys' intelligence


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Alan Connell spoke positively about his side's handling of the conditions and the Hornets after the friendly draw with Watford.

With Canford Arena battered by the elements on Saturday morning, the Cherries let a lead slip in a 3-3 draw in an entertaining contest.

Euan Pollock, Matt Burgess and Jake Adams fired the home side into a 3-1 advantage, only for the visitors to draw level inside the final 15 minutes.

After the match, manager Connell spoke with afcb.co.uk and gave his view of the performance.

"It was a really difficult game," he said. "The conditions made it tough with the wind, rain and the pitch. In the first half we changed formation from recent weeks and I was really happy with how the boys played and how they adapted to that.

"We made the pitch nice and big as we always try to do, and I thought we gave Watford a lot of problems and created some good chances.

"I'm delighted that Euan took his chance so well from Aaron's cutback, I thought that was a really nicely-worked goal.

"We conceded an unfortunate equaliser when the wind played a big part, but the response was good, we controlled large spells of the first half.

"Matt Burgess scored a good individual goal, which we know he's capable of, and at half time we came in very happy with our work and performance - knowing that Watford would come out strongly as an established Category 2 team.

"We changed formation at half time, which was pre-planned. Being a friendly it gave us a chance to experiment a little bit, we brought on two 15-year-olds and that was a great experience for them.

"We scored the third goal, another moment of individual quality from Jake, which we know he's got.

"At 3-1 we were thinking about seeing the game out. We made a couple of subs who probably didn't quite get up with the speed of the game, we got loose in possession, the pitch started to cut up and we created our own problems and got punished.

"It went to 3-2 and we had difficult moments where we were under the cosh. The challenge for these young players was whether they could get through them.

"Unfortunately we conceded towards the end when we should have stopped a cross and marked better, that's something we'll have a look at.

"It was an end-to-end game, we passed the ball well and what was pleasing was the adaptation between the two formations and the intelligence the boys showed.

"I'm happy overall but when you're 3-1 up with 15 minutes to go you should see the game out so that's the next step, to make sure we're mature enough not just when it's comfortable but in the difficult moments as well." 

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