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Defensive record is a team effort


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Coach Alan Connell hailed AFC Bournemouth under-18s’ impressive defensive record as “a great team effort”.

The Cherries have conceded just six times in 11 games in all competitions this season, keeping no fewer than six clean sheets in the process.

Connell’s squad let in a solitary goal on their way to winning the King Power Cup on Wednesday, a six-team invitational tournament hosted by Leicester City.

Currently second in the south west division of the EFL Youth Alliance, the Cherries will be hoping to maintain their good form when they visit Swindon Town tomorrow.

The sixth-placed Robins held the Cherries to a 1-1 draw at Canford Arena at the end of August when Euan Pollock’s goal after 14 seconds was cancelled out by Harry Parsons on the stroke of half-time.

Connell told afcb.co.uk: “I am delighted with our defensive record. To only concede six goals in 11 games is a great achievement at any level.

“Our goalkeeper and defenders deserve huge credit. We insist that they play out from the back which puts pressure on in itself.

“Not only are we asking them to do that, we are also asking them to defend well which I think we have this season.

“But defending is a collective part of the game and it’s very much a team effort.

"The midfielders, the wide players and the guys up front all play their part. We ask them to win back the ball as early as possible and defending always starts from the front.

“Our defensive record has been pleasing so far but we know there are more tests to come. But I’m confident we can carry on the good work with the improvements the boys are making.”

Previewing the Swindon match, Connell added: “They are a physical and well-organised side and I’m expecting a very difficult game.

“We will try to be progressive with the ball and try to be difficult to beat.

"They have already taken points off us this season so we know it’s going to be a tough game but it’s one we’re looking forward to.”

Connell has a number of injury concerns ahead of facing Swindon at Stanley Park Youth Football Club in Chippenham (11am kick-off).

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