Coach Shaun Cooper felt AFC Bournemouth under-21s’ convincing win over Oxford United had been a good exercise in problem solving for his players.
Alex Dobre’s double and goals from Tom Dinsmore and Jake Scrimshaw earned the Cherries a 4-1 victory at The Oxford United Sports Ground yesterday.
The contest was ideal preparation for the Cherries’ second group match in the Premier League Cup with Stoke City visiting Vitality Stadium on Friday 8th November (7pm).
Cooper told afcb.co.uk: “I was pleased for the boys to get a good result. Oxford sat in during the first half and it posed a few problems for us.
“I thought our centre-halves carried the ball out well and, when we figured out we needed to get the ball wide and try to get in good crossing positions, we got a grip of the game.
“In the second half, they came out and pressed us aggressively and again it took us a while to get to grips with that. But eventually, we saw out the game in the end.
“Jake Scrimshaw capped it off with a nice finish. He works hard in every game and it was just nice to see him get his rewards with a goal.
“Alex’s first goal was a great strike and we knew that’s the X-factor that he has. It was also a great strike from Tom from distance for the second.
“It was ironic that, for all our dominance, it took two worldies for us to get our first two goals. But it certainly settled us and then we were able to concentrate on controlling possession from then on.
“The Stoke game is the next big test and we’re very much looking forward to. Hopefully, we can have a good week leading up to it in terms of preparation.
“For the lads who haven’t played that many games, run-outs like this against Oxford are a great opportunity to get some minutes under their belts.
“Oxford posed us two different sets of problems – what do we do with the ball when we’ve got time and space? And then, all of a sudden, we were under a lot of pressure so how is best to handle it?
“It will be a good game for us to reflect on and review with the boys.”