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Cherries: Bradders bans the 'S' word ahead of Exeter
Published : 08 Mar 2011 07:00:00
BOSS Lee Bradbury has banned talk of Southampton as Cherries aim to avoid becoming sidetracked by the upcoming south coast promotion showdown. Interest and excitement is building among the area's football followers ahead of Saturday's meeting between the League One rivals, with tickets for the Dean Court clash sold out weeks ago. Cherries could extend their lead on Saints and enhance their own hopes of finishing in the top two by getting the better of their neighbours in front of a capacity crowd. But with his in-form side facing a potentially tricky trip to Exeter City tonight (7.45pm), Bradbury is determined to fully focus on the Grecians. A win in Devon would see Cherries at least maintain their six-point lead over Saints, who host Yeovil Town at St Mary's as the race for promotion intensifies. When asked if it would be hard not to look ahead to the Southampton game, Bradbury said: Not really, no. I can't be sidetracked and I can't let the players be sidetracked. I've told them that I don't want anyone talking about the Southampton game until Thursday. We've got a massive game tonight and it is still three points on offer, the same as it is on Saturday. The Cherries chief added: We are not getting distracted by talk of the Southampton game. Exeter have had a couple of bad results of late so, hopefully, we can go there and get a good start. It should be a good match as both teams like to play football. We have just got to hope we get the upper hand on them, but it won't be an easy game. In contrast to Exeter's failure to win in their past four outings, Cherries have gone on an exceptional run since Bradbury and player-assistant boss Steve Fletcher took charge. The rookie pair have kept Cherries on course for promotion with a 10-match unbeaten sequence, which has included six wins and four draws. Bradbury added: It is hard to follow a successful management team like Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall. Fletch and I have come in and gone about our business quietly, creeping along under the radar, hopefully, without anyone noticing what we are doing. They are starting to take notice now but it is up to us to keep the lads' and our own feet on the ground, and concentrate on tonight's game. Left-back Rhoys Wiggins is Cherries' only injury worry due to the calf problem that kept him out of Saturday's 3-0 victory over Oldham Athletic.