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League One

Groves turns deaf ear to protests

30 September 2012

Bournemouth manager Paul Groves admitted his side had a desperate look about them as they slumped to a 2-1 home defeat to Walsall - but he refused to concede his job was under threat.

Despite giving a debut to former England goaleeper David James, Bournemouth were undone by a last-gasp winner by Saddlers' striker George Bowerman, which prompted calls for Groves's head from frustrated fans, who continued their protest after the game outside the ground.

There were also heated scenes and exchanges in one of the corporate boxes containing Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell and other directors.

Groves revealed that chairman Mitchell came into the dressing room after the game, but refused to say what was said.

The Cherries boss said: "I haven't spoken directly to the chairman since the final whistle. He came into the dressing room after the game and voiced his opinion, which he is entitled to do, but what he said stays in the dressing room.

"Am I under pressure? I put myself under pressure because I want us to do well. All I can do is work even harder to try and win games, and it's wins that will change the situation."

Saddlers boss Dean Smith was delighted with his side's success and claimed the players were inspired by his early morning dip in the sea.

"Myself and two of the staff went down to the beach and we went in. It was Baltic," he said. "But we try and lead from the front and the players have regular ice baths to ease their muscles. It's part of the good team ethic we have at the club.

"There was a bit of sloppy defending which allowed them back into the game, but the reaction was brilliant.

"I thought we controlled the game, we were well organised and didn't allow them to play. The league position doesn't mean much at the moment and we won't get carried away.

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