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Cherries: Howe's men learned from Sincil Bank nightmare
Published : 09 Apr 2010 07:00:00
BOSS Eddie Howe believes his players are sustaining their promotion push by drawing on their experiences of last season none more so than their late horror show at Lincoln. Cherries will be out to exorcise the ghost of their Sincil Bank nightmare when they return to the venue tomorrow looking to claim the points for very different reasons. Two errors from on-loan goalkeeper David Button denied relegation-haunted Cherries victory against the Imps 14 months ago with Howe's men forced to settle for a 3-3 draw. Without a shadow of doubt, that was a low day, recalled Howe, who was just four games into his stewardship. We thought we had played well and had deserved to win. It was a real kick in the teeth. But when it came to how to protect a lead and how to run down the clock, it was also a great learning curve. At 3-1 and with time almost up, we should have seen out the game. We learned a really good lesson that day so, in some senses, it was a blessing in disguise. A fruitful Easter campaign saw Cherries extend to six points their lead in third place with just six games remaining. And while a number of their promotion rivals have been feeling the heat, Howe's men have managed to keep their cool. I think last season's experience did us the world of good, said Howe. At the time, I said the lads would not play under any greater pressure than that. Fighting for your Football League survival is the most extreme pressure any lower-league footballer can play under and they coped with it fantastically well. People say there is pressure at the top but it's not as extreme as it is at the bottom. The experience from last season has helped us kick on this season. The pressure of a promotion battle is the type you are in the game for. Whereas last year was about preserving our Football League status, this season is something different and this is enjoyable pressure. Previewing the trip to lowly Lincoln, Howe said: These are dangerous games. I'm sure they are looking at it and thinking they aren't safe yet. If we were in their position, we would be saying we need a couple more wins. It is going to be a really tough game. They have definitely picked up after a difficult start. They have had some good results recently and are a different side to the one we played earlier in the season. If you look back to three games ago, we were a point away from third place. With six games to go, that can turn as quickly as it did in our favour. As a team, we have to be so aware and not relax for a second. Lincoln City: (from) Burch, Hughton, Green, Baker, Anderson, Saunders, Clarke, Keltie, Lennon, Somma, Herd, Gilmour, Connor, Swaibu, Butcher, Hutchinson, John-Lewis, Musselwhite. Cherries: (from) Jalal, Garry, Pearce, Wiggins, Feeney, Hollands, Bartley, Robinson, Connell, Fletcher, Pitman, Igoe, Partington, Cummings, McQuoid, Stockley, Goulding, Thomas.