Jalal: Ability to recover key to promotion push
GOALKEEPER Shwan Jalal says Cherries' powers of recovery have been a crucial factor during the closing stages of this season's promotion bid. Star stopper Jalal has played his part as Eddie Howe's men have managed to keep their nerve while a number of their rivals have suffered the jitters. Since losing three league games on the trot in January, Cherries have responded by winning seven and drawing four of their past 14 to remain firmly in the hunt. And no fewer than nine of their 11 defeats this season have been followed by positive league results with Cherries picking up six wins and three draws. Jalal told the Daily Echo: Eddie (Howe) and Jason (Tindall) have been key to that. They have drummed into us that when we lose a game, they expect us to bounce back. It may seem like the end of the world when you lose but the games come thick and fast so you have always got a chance to put it right straight away. A defeat hurts both individually and collectively and there is a fierce determination within the group to succeed. We've got a bunch of really hungry players and we are so close now that nobody will be taking their foot off the pedal because success at the end of the season is on our minds. Jalal, who has kept 17 clean sheets this season, added: We're just concentrating on ourselves and on our own form. If we can keep demanding what we do of ourselves then we won't be too far away. We've just got to keep working hard and let our football do the talking. We're in the driving seat at the moment so we've only got to focus on ourselves. Jalal will be hoping to make it four successive shut-outs when Cherries face Lincoln City at Sincil Bank this afternoon. And the 26-year-old will also be keen to win his personal duel with Imps stopper Rob Burch, a close friend following their days together at Spurs. The clean sheet at Rochdale was really satisfying, said Jalal. But any clean sheet is a team effort and we pride ourselves on them. It's going to be another tough match at Lincoln because they are fighting for their lives. I've spoken to Rob and he's told me they aren't thinking they are safe yet. He's one of my best mates and I'm looking forward to playing against him. I will want to do everything to win and I know he will be the same. We haven't had too much banter because we've both got a job to do and our minds have been on our respective teams.
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