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Under-21s

Fletcher looking forward to Premier League Cup test

Carl Fletcher issues instructions during the under-21 side's pre-season friendly at Eastleigh.

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth under-21s manager Carl Fletcher is looking forward to some varied tests in the Premier League Cup after beating Wigan Athletic 3-1 to qualify for the competition.

Fletcher was pleased with his side’s character to come from behind against the Latics, as goals from Ollie Harfield, Connor Mahoney and an own goal sealed the team’s passage into the group stage.

The manager was pleased that his side showed a different side to their game in difficult conditions, saying: “It’s a really long journey and we got there in the end on a tough pitch.

“The conditions weren’t the best but it was important we did the right things today. Cup games aren’t about the performance and to come from behind was really pleasing, it shows we’ve got that bit of character in the squad.

“The guys really had to dig in today and we will play better football, but today the players learnt another side of the game.”

The tournament will be split into eight groups of four clubs, with each team playing their opposing clubs home and away with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stage.

The Cherries were drawn in Group C and will face Wolverhampton Wanderers, Norwich City and Bury.

Fletcher continued: “It’s a massive result for us to get into this competition.

“They’ll be different types of games from the friendlies and league fixtures which is a huge bonus.

“We want to give the players different experiences and playing at proper stadiums is part of what we want to expose them to.

“It’s good for the lads to learn in different environments and to also get them out of their comfort zone.

“Some teams will be better technically than us, while others will be stronger than us. But this is exactly what we want, we want the players to find ways against different opponents which will massively help in their development.”

 

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