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Under-21s

Fletcher on improving the fine margins

Cal Fletcher coaches during an AFC Bournemouth youth team game.

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The under-21s boss is looking to drive home the importance of getting the small details right after his side twice fought themselves level before losing 3-2 away at a windswept Cheltenham.

“It’s a big learning curve,” said Fletcher to afcb.co.uk. “Especially for the defenders and the younger players. From doing well in tough conditions on a sticky pitch in windy conditions to coming up against a team that is physically imposing and bigger, not just in a couple of areas but around the pitch.

“That’s why we have players out on loan because they have to learn that if you don’t pick up your man and he scores from a set piece it could end up with losing games, getting relegated or losing out on promotion; all these sorts of scenarios.

“Games like today show how important those fine details are across the whole game and from that point of view it was great. We learned that if you’re struggling from set pieces then either don’t give them away or make sure you win if not the first ball then definitely the second.”

Despite the scoreline, the under-21s manager saw plenty of positives to take from the display, including minutes for returning first-team players Callum Wilson and Emerson Hyndman, the former also scoring both of the Cherries’ goals.

He continued: “I was pleased with the players to come here and despite the conditions to play some of the football that we did was great. They were brave, their work rate was good – we’re just disappointed with the goals conceded at the other end.

“It was a good dominant performance where we played some good stuff in tough circumstances. It was difficult at times, the ball kept getting stuck under our feet but we kept persevering and had some good passing patterns.

“I was also delighted today for Callum to get 90 minutes along with a couple of goals, while Emerson got the minutes under his belt as well, that made it extra worthwhile.”

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