AFC Bournemouth defender Tyler Cordner is back with the Cherries after a loan spell with Ebbsfleet and is full of confidence ahead of his side’s Central League Cup clash with Bristol Rovers tomorrow.
The under-21s head to Yate Town for their final game in Group Five, where a win will book them a place in the semi-final of the competition’s southern section.
Cordner, who signed his first professional deal with the club at the end of the 2016/17 season, is looking forward to the fixture and believes his side can take confidence from winning the trophy last time out.
He began: “Yeah, we’re confident. We won it last year and I’m sure if we win tomorrow then we go into the semi-finals, so we're in a good position.
“We’re looking forward to the game. I think we're going to put a strong team out so we should hopefully be in a good position to win the match.
“I think we’re the only Premier League team left in it, so the pressure is on us. We’re all confident in our own abilities to win the game and I’m sure we’ll go and do that.
“We work hard on the training ground, improving every day, and I don’t think we’ve lost all season, which is incredible. I think we’ve lost one friendly, but apart from that we haven’t lost at all.”
Cordner went on to hail the importance of other competitions, such as the Premier League Cup and the tough competition that comes with it.
He added: “The Premier League Cup will give us great confidence going into this – we’ve played big teams in that and haven’t lost.
“We’ve been strong in every game we’ve played in. There’s been different types of tests, especially away at Nottingham Forest.
“We had to defend a lot in the second half, but we were really good on the ball in the first half. As young lads, we need to be exposed to tough tests, but we dealt with it well and got some good results.”
With 16 wins out of a possible 17 in all competitions since July, the young defender spoke highly of the coaches and the impact they have on the squad.
“It’s brilliant to learn off Shaun Cooper and Mark Molesley. They’ve been players themselves and they’ve been there and done it, so learning off them every day is good,” he continued.
“For me personally, Shaun Cooper being a centre-half, he liked to be more of a ball player and leader, so it’s good for me in that position.
“They’re both good though. They understand situations where some coaches might not and they’re easy to talk to on and off the pitch.”
Having spent six months on loan at Ebbsfleet, where he made 20 appearances in the National League and three in the FA Cup, Cordner also expressed how regular game time has aided his development.
“It was good, I enjoyed it and I’ve been exposed to something different. When you’re there, you do everything in your power to get those three points.
“It’s been a different style of play, a lot of heading, a lot of getting kicked, getting beaten up, but for me it’s been good and something that I needed to do.
“I needed to improve more on my defending. My best thing on the pitch is being good on the ball, but I needed to get exposed to more one-on-one defending and I think I’ve done that really well.”
Whether it’s learning off those at Vitality Stadium or continuing to play men’s football on loan, Cordner is keen to kick-on during the second half of the season.
“Hopefully, I can just keep going now and keep progressing, so that I can build a profile for myself.
“I’d like to get as much experience as possible – you can never have enough. The quicker that I get more games, the better it is. I want to work my way up the leagues and hopefully come back and break into the first team here, that’s the aim.
“I’ve got to keep working hard, see what happens and do everything that is asked of me.”