Cherries feature: Fast show

22 December 2010 04:16
HE'S quick but not that quick. Flattered by recent transfer speculation, Marvin Bartley was more intrigued to discover he was being touted as the Usain Bolt of Dean Court.

A banner headline on a story published on a website at the weekend proclaimed both Leeds and Leicester were trailing the Bournemouth sprint sensation.

The article said Bartley was one of the fastest players in England and had once won a gold medal after clocking 9.89 seconds in the 100m at the British Indoor Championships.

Jamaican sprinter Bolt broke the world record at the Beijing Olympics in a time of 9.69, while Linford Christie holds the British record of 9.87.

It's news to me! laughed Bartley. I have got a gold medal but I won it playing a computer game. Pressing a couple of buttons is a bit different to running with your own two feet. I used to run when I was younger but I was never an English champion. I'm not the slowest but I'm no world beater either!

But what about the transfer gossip

I take that with a pinch of salt as well, said Bartley, who has also been linked with Championship high-fliers Cardiff City and his hometown club Reading.

There is speculation about a lot of players doing the rounds because the transfer window is due to open next month and people need stuff to write.

A key performer during Cherries' revival under Eddie Howe, Bartley has 18 months to run on his current contract and the club are believed to be keen to tie him to a new deal.

However, the 24-year-old, who packed up his job as a window fitter to join Cherries in 2007, knows from recent experiences that the club can struggle to keep its prize assets.

Brett (Pitman) and Josh (McQuoid) both did very well for us, said Bartley. But there is no point moping around thinking we've lost two good players. We've got to deal with it and get on with it. When everybody is fit, we're not too short in that department and I'm sure other people will score, providing we create enough chances.

It's unfortunate that Bournemouth are a selling club but it's good for the players, especially the younger ones. You know the manager and chairman want you to fulfil your ambition and play at the highest level possible. You know they won't stand in your way, providing the move is right for both parties. If it's not right for them, they won't sell.

More pressing concerns for Bartley are to win back his place in the Cherries engine room and to help the team return to winning ways following successive defeats in League One and the FA Cup.

A combination of injury to Ryan Garry and Shaun Cooper and the recent tightening of the club's transfer embargo have seen Bartley deputise in central defence.

Danny (Hollands) and Anton (Robinson) have done really well in central midfield and I've been covering at centre-back, said Bartley. The sooner I can get back there, the better because central midfield is where I want to play consistently. But the manager has asked me to do a job and I'm more than happy to do that.

Everybody has got to deal with the situation and we won't let it affect us. As long as we get 11 players on the pitch, we will give our all and everyone will give 100 per cent. That's all we can do.

Losing two on the bounce was hard to swallow and we wanted to try to put it right against Rochdale. We will train hard this week and look to Sunday's game against Plymouth to turn it round.

Source: Bournemouth_Echo