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In opposition: Bournemouth v Tranmere Rovers

17 October 2012

Eddie Howe returns to the Bournemouth dugout this weekend after leaving Burnley. His first game back in charge of the Cherries comes against table-toppers Tranmere Rovers.

Here, we preview the game with the help of a supporter from each club.



Name: Rachel Allen.

Club: Bournemouth.

Number of years as a supporter: 28.

Favourite moment as a fan: There's so many to choose from. The most important day in the club's history was when Bournemouth were saved from going in to liquidation and that's the reason we're still here today.

The convoy of well over 30 coaches taking us to the old Wembley for the Football League Trophy Final against Grimsby Town in 1998 lives long in the memory, as does the Division 3 Play-Off Final victory over Lincoln City at the Millennium Stadium in 2003.

How many games a season do you attend? All home games and as many away matches as I can.

Where do you sit? East Stand.


Name: Ross Quayle.

Club: Tranmere Rovers.

Number of years as a supporter: I went to my first game as a three or four-year-old, so nearly 20 years now.

Favourite moment as a fan: Hard to choose between League Cup Final in 2000 at the old Wembley, beating Everton 3-0 in the FA Cup, or the 4-3 comeback against Southampton, also in the FA Cup.

How many games a season do you attend? I'm a season ticket holder so all of the home games, and try to get to as many away games I can.

Where do you sit? In the Paddock, just behind the home dugout.


What happened in your last match?

RA: Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall, the club's new management team, watched on from the stands at Dean Court as we beat Leyton Orient 2-0 - our first home win of the season.

RQ: It was a cracker. We found ourselves 2-0 down after half an hour, after some poor defending. We managed to pull one back just before half-time, which gave us some much-needed impetuous for the second half. Top goalscorer Jake Cassidy then equalised.

Shortly after, Yeovil had a player sent off for two bookable offences, then boyhood Tranmere fan and right-back, Danny Holmes, scored the winner with no more than 10 minutes remaining. The game really did have everything.

Why is this game important?

RA: After a highly disappointing start to the season, Cherries fans are hoping that the confidence taken from last Saturday's win, combined with the return of Eddie Howe who did so well as manager in his first spell, could kick-start our season.

There would be nothing better than getting a result against the league leaders to really get us moving in the right direction. We need to start pushing away from the relegation zone, and fast.

RQ: The longer we keep this run going the better, so every game for us is important. Bournemouth will be a very difficult game though, especially with the Eddie Howe factor.

How do you see this game going?

RA: Having taken 30 points from their first 12 games of the season, Tranmere are obviously one of the npower Football League's form teams at the moment. I'm expecting a really tough encounter, not least because Tranmere are a very physical team. A draw would be a good result.

RQ: I'm not too sure. On our current form we shouldn't fear anyone, but a new manager usually brings new confidence to a team so we should be wary. Howe is a firm favourite at Bournemouth, and will bring a huge boost to everyone at Dean Court. I think we can definitely win, and we have shown we can score goals aplenty, but something is telling me this will be a very difficult match.

Who should we keep our eye on?

Ever since we took him on loan from Charlton Athletic in 2011, Simon Francis has been hugely impressive in a Cherries shirt. The right-back is able to join in with attacking moves and can put a great cross into the box. I was delighted when he signed permanently at the start of the year. RA:

RQ: Jake Cassidy, our Welsh striker on loan from Wolves, always looks like scoring, even if he is having a quiet game. He is currently top goalscorer in npower League 1 with eight goals.

Any memories of previous encounters?

RA: No one game especially, although Bournemouth did beat Tranmere 5-3 in the FA Cup in 2010. My abiding memory of Tranmere is they have always been a tough team to break down and it tends to be the odd goal that separates the teams. Case in point being Bournemouth's 2-1 win in the last meeting between the two.

RQ: One of my first, and longest, away games was at Bournemouth in 2001. We won 2-0, and Eddie Howe was in the starting line-up then. The 2010/11 season brought two completely contrasting games. Tranmere were demolished 3-0 at home early on in the season, but the returning fixture brought a dramatic 2-1 win in late April, which ensured Rovers' survival in League 1.

Score prediction?

RA: 2-2.

RQ: Heart says a good two or three-nil win, but head is saying 1-1.

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