Cherries: Lovell is lapping up the pressure

13 May 2011 07:00
BIG-game player Stevie Lovell is urging his Cherries team-mates to seize the moment as they attempt to realise their promotion dream.

Lovell is tomorrow likely to be the only starter in Lee Bradbury's team to have performed in such high-profile games as the League One play-offs.

The striker, now in his second spell with the club, is set to lead the line when Cherries host Huddersfield in the first leg of their semi-final at Dean Court (12.45pm).

Lovell enjoyed an illustrious career north of the border, appearing in two Scottish Cup finals and a UEFA Cup campaign that saw him face German giants Bayern Munich.

The 30-year-old, who scored for Aberdeen at Bayern's Allianz Arena in a 5-1 defeat in 2008, lists helping the Dons win a place in Europe as one of the highlights of my career.

His first Scottish Cup final ended in defeat for Dundee against Rangers in 2003 just a week after Cherries had won the Division Three play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.

And with Steve Fletcher, Stephen Purches and Warren Cummings, all members of the promotion-winning squad from eight years ago, likely to be on the bench against Huddersfield, Lovell's experience will be vital to Cherries.

Lovell told the Daily Echo: It is a lot different when you get a bit older and have been fortunate enough to experience these type of games. At the time, I wish I had maybe enjoyed and remembered them a bit more.

We are in a position where we could make history with Bournemouth so I just think the boys need to keep playing the way they have and enjoy it because these things don't come around every day.

It is a great achievement for the team, the club and for everyone involved to have come this far. If we enjoy the games and play the way we know we can, the rewards will come. The boys have shown all season how well they can do in high-pressure games.

Lovell returned from a lengthy injury lay-off to make his second' debut for Cherries during a 3-3 draw at Peterborough last month. He made seven appearances towards the end of the regulation season and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-2 draw at Hartlepool.

He added: I was delighted to get my first goal but my mind-set has been doing well for the team. I wouldn't mind if I didn't score and we won every game.

There were times when things didn't look good for me but I am glad I stuck with it and had a lot of strong people around me.

The boys did the hard work during the season to reach the play-offs and I am just delighted to be a part of it now.

At close of business last night, Cherries still had around 800 tickets available for the semi-final.

Source: Bournemouth_Echo