Cherries: Fletch comparison not right says Jeff

17 March 2010 07:00
BACK-up striker Jeff Goulding admits he is desperate to exit Steve Fletcher's shadow and says comparisons with the Cherries legend are unwanted.

Goulding ended a 12-month wait for a goal when he bagged a dramatic injury-time equaliser to earn Cherries a 2-2 draw at Notts County on Monday.

It was a rare moment to savour for the amiable 25-year-old who has experienced more lows than highs since stepping into the professional ranks 18 months ago.

Goulding, who saw Kevin Bond sacked just days after he had signed from Fisher Athletic, fell out of favour under Jimmy Quinn and looked set for a quick return to non-league.

And although Eddie Howe's appointment rescued him, the return of Fletcher has seen Goulding play second fiddle to the Cherries talisman for most of the past 14 months.

In a candid interview with the Daily Echo, Goulding, perceived by many supporters as a possible heir to Fletcher's crown, said: I don't really like the comparison with Fletch. He's a hero here and we all know what he means to the club.

I think we are so different as players and I don't think people realise that. I learn from him and there are parts of his game that I can take to help me improve, which is great for me.

It's a tough one because I want to play every week. If I did come in and filled his boots, then it would be great. If not, then hopefully, I could fill someone else's boots. I would like to be known as my own player rather than as the next Fletch.

Goulding, who has had more than his fair share of criticism since joining Cherries, has been restricted to just four starts and 10 appearances from the bench this season, his cause not helped by an injury layoff.

However, despite his desire for regular action, the Surrey-born frontman knows Fletcher and leading goalscorer Brett Pitman have produced the goods.

They have been doing really well up and I have had to bide my time, added Goulding. It's been hard to get in and all I can do when I get on is try to give my all.

It's been frustrating but I've been in the game long enough to know that if you put in the hard work on the training pitch, it pays off in the end. I've been working hard on my game and would like to think I have improved.

Goulding added: Criticism isn't nice but you've got to take it on the chin. Even the best players in the world have their critics. It's not nice when people say things about you but all you can do is try to get things right on the pitch.

I've just got to keep up my confidence and, hopefully, I can play my part in the final 10 games and try to get a few more goals.

Source: Bournemouth_Echo