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Cherries: Patience is key to unlock Latics says Connell
CUP specialist Alan Connell has told his former Cherries team-mates that patience, concentration and discipline will all be key factors as they go in search of a shock.
Eddie Howe’s men head to the DW Stadium on Saturday bidding to claim the Premier League scalp of Wigan – something Connell has achieved twice in the past year.
He netted in Swindon’s FA Cup third round win over the Latics 12 months ago before scoring in a penalty shootout as Bradford dumped them out of this season’s League Cup.
Connell, a popular player during two spells with Cherries, has helped the Bantams reach the semi-finals of both the League Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this season.
The striker was also on target for Cherries when they last booked their place in the third round of the FA Cup, his effort helping to see off Carlisle at Dean Court in 2004.
Previewing Cherries’ FA Cup clash against the Latics, Connell told the Daily Echo: “Wigan are a really good team and are very difficult to play against because they keep the ball so well.
“When I played them, both for Swindon and Bradford, we were patient and almost let them have the ball at the back.
“It is difficult to mark them because of their excellent passing and movement. You have got to keep your discipline and keep the shape of the team. From my experience, they are one of the best teams I have played against and I have never had to think my way through a game so much. It was a real eye opener and very different to lower-league football.
“But we proved that, if you get the basics right and stick in there, then there is always a chance.
“Bournemouth are one of the form teams in the country and will go there full of confidence and looking to cause an upset.
“You have to take your chances against them because you don’t get many. I scored from my one half-chance for Swindon and had one attempt on goal for Bradford.
“I have nothing but good things to say about Wigan.
“They were a class outfit and their players and staff were very respectful of us.
“Having been beaten twice recently by lower-league teams, I am sure they will be a little nervous going into the game against Bournemouth.
“I know the Premier League is their priority but they will want to put together a cup run. I am sure Bournemouth will have a tough afternoon but, if any team is capable of going there and getting a positive result, it is them.”
Connell added: “I am so pleased to see them doing well and I really believe they will go up this season.
“I have always been very appreciative of the support I have received from Bournemouth fans and the club will always have a special place in my heart.”