Cherries: Best attack is built on solid foundation
STAR stopper Shwan Jalal has highlighted the importance of Cherries' defence and insists they have a vital role to play in the team's fluent attacking style. Eddie Howe's side have been free scoring so far this season and they continued their entertaining offensive play in the 3-0 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge last time out. Cherries' front players have received much of the praise after the Dean Court outfit increased their tally to 16 goals in just six league matches. But the backline in front of number one Jalal has also been functioning impressively. He has kept three clean sheets this term, following on from last season's fine record of 19 in 44 league starts during the epic promotion campaign. And the former Tottenham Hotspur trainee was quick to underline the good work of his defensive colleagues not only in shutting out the opposition, but also in helping to kick off many of Cherries' flowing moves. He told the Echo: The manager is encouraging us, defensively, to play out from the back, rather than being more direct, and I think it's benefiting the team and also enabling us to keep the ball better. Defensively, I think we also contribute a lot to going forward because the build-up play begins with us. Our aim as a defensive unit is to keep as many clean sheets as possible because that gives us the ability to go out and win games, knowing that if we keep clean sheets we'll win more games than we lose. That's in the back of my mind and it's also pride that you want to come off the pitch knowing that nobody has got past you and that you've done your job. I think we've been performing very well. We were disappointed with the goals we let in against Notts County, but I think we've learned our lessons from then and, touch wood, we'll go on to have a successful season like we did last year. Last season, a lot of our success was based around how strong we were defensively and, as a unit, we're determined to take it into League One and do the same. But it adds an extra dimension when we know we've got firepower in our game as well and it's been great to watch the lads producing what they have up front. Discussing the step up to League One, Jalal added: Every player is ambitious and they want to play at the highest level they can. It's another step up but I think the lads and myself have really enjoyed being around the scene in League One. I'm 27 now and am eager to learn every day. I feel this club is really going places and I want to be along for the ride.
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