Cherries skipper wants to repay Howe's faith
Cherries captain Danny Hollands today reveals one of the driving forces behind his battle to regain full fitness the desire to reward manager Eddie Howes faith. Boss Howe displayed his belief in Hollands by handing him the armband during the summer. But the influential midfielder has been unable to play a major role so far this term as he has been recovering from a pre-season knee operation. However, with Cherries preparing for a League Two clash at Darlington this afternoon, Hollands is in contention to feature at a venue which holds mixed memories for him and his team-mates. And once he does force his way back into the Cherries team, the former Chelsea reserves skipper will be keen to reward Howes backing. When the manager gives you the captains armband it makes you feel that hes got a lot of belief in you, Hollands told the Echo. First things first, Ive got to try to get on the pitch. When I do, Ive got to make sure I give something back to him. I feel like I owe him one because hes put faith in me so Ive got to make sure I give it back to him. Darlington was the venue for Howes first match as manager, in a game which saw Cherries defeated 2-1. Hollands, who netted the opening goal in that clash, is keen to reverse the result this time round. We think we owe them one, he admitted. It was the gaffers first game in charge and it was a decent performance from the lads. We were 1-0 up until about the 80th minute and they pulled a goal back, then we felt a little bit hard done by for them to get a penalty and win it 2-1. Since that loss, Howe has overseen a remarkable turnaround, leading Cherries to League Two safety before guiding the Dean Court outfit to the top of the tree this term. Asked how the shift has come about, Hollands explained: Hes instilled in us a team spirit and desire to want to go on and win. Weve showed that on the pitch, with everyone working for each other. At Torquay, maybe in early parts of last season we would have buckled. But we stuck to our guns and got the three points and I think that shows the resolve the lads have got. I dont think Eddie will let us take our foot off the gas. Hopefully we can continue doing what were doing. He added: If anyone said to us, seven games in, wed be top of the league by two points I think youd have ripped their hands off. Everyones going to try to shoot us down. Weve got to make sure were on top of our game and do the same things we have been, not get complacent and make sure that we do our job and stay top of the league. All were thinking about now is trying to extend the gap between us and second place.
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