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AFC Bournemouth v Southampton: Cedric grateful for swift return to action

Defender Cedric Soares is grateful to have the chance to quickly put Southampton’s last-gasp defeat to Chelsea behind them when they make the short trip to AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday.

Southampton had put together an impressive run of five wins and a draw from six matches, all without conceding, until the reigning Premier League champions came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Still trailing to Shane Long’s opener with 15 minutes to go, Chelsea hit back thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic, the Spaniard’s effort ending Fraser Forster’s club-record run of 708 minutes without conceding in the top flight.

And Cedric is glad for an opportunity to return to winning ways just three days later at the Vitality Stadium.

“I think it [the Chelsea result] is a little bit unfair, but it’s gone and we need to think on the next game,” he told Southampton’s official website.

“I think we are in a good moment. We had amazing results in the last few weeks, so now we need to think immediately to the next game about Bournemouth.

“It’s going to be a tough game away, but our team is together and still we are in a good moment and I think we are going to do a very good game.

“Always when you lose you want immediately to have a game on the next day if it’s possible, so I’ll look forward for Tuesday and I hope we win the next game.”

While Saturday’s defeat saw Southampton drop to seventh, Bournemouth moved five points clear of the drop zone in 15th with a creditable 0-0 draw at Watford.

Manager Eddie Howe felt his side were unfortunate not to take all three points at Vicarage Road, citing the performance of Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes as the deciding factor.

There was a further positive for Howe and Bournemouth, who saw winger Max Gradel return as a first-half substitute – his first appearance since suffering a serious knee injury against Leicester City in August.

“It feels very, very good to be back,” Gradel told his club’s official website. “It has been a long time that I have waited for this moment. I am so happy to be back.

“I didn’t expect one of my team-mates to get injured so early in the game, but when you are on the bench you always have to be ready.

“I had been prepared to be ready and maybe come on for the second half, but as [Saturday] showed you never know when you will be called upon. I was just glad to get back out on the pitch and helping the team.”

Gradel replaced Junior Stanislas, who is a doubt for Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury, while Lewis Grabban missed the trip to Watford with a groin problem.

For the Saints, Long was withdrawn midway through the second half with a hamstring injury, while Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos are still short of match fitness. Victor Wanyama remains suspended.


Key Opta Stats:

– Southampton are unbeaten in the last six league meetings with AFC Bournemouth, winning the last five in a row.

– Bournemouth have won just two of their last 10 Premier League home games.

– Bournemouth have scored just eight goals in their 10 Premier League matches since Boxing Day – failing to score in half of those.

– Fraser Forster has kept a clean sheet in 51.4 per cent of his appearances in the Premier League – the best ratio of any goalkeeper to have played 30-plus games in the competition.

– Bournemouth have scored the most goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games in 2015-16 so far (eight).

Sun 28 Feb, 2016
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