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SWINDON TOWN: Paolo knew Bournemouth would be a force to reckon with
PAOLO Di Canio was convinced Bournemouth would come good this season, despite seeing his Swindon Town side wipe the floor with the Cherries when the two clashed at the County Ground earlier this season.
Back in September, two goals from Matt Ritchie and one apiece from Adam Rooney and Andy Williams left the south coast outfit limping back to Dean Court on the end of a 4-0 hiding.
That defeat saw Bournemouth slip to 18th in League One, with just one victory to their name, and soon after manager Paul Groves was replaced by Eddie Howe.
Since then, however, the Cherries have been practically unstoppable, proving Di Canio right when he intimated that he would have been happy to sign eight of the Bournemouth side that lined up against his Robins when the two teams locked horns.
He said: “When we won at home against them earlier in the season it was the first and only time where I said to my players ‘we have to win today because one day I will tell you why that game counts for six points if we win’.
“I was sure that this team would stay close there and compete for the top six places.
“Individually I know the players have quality and since they changed the manager they proved it.
“It is one of the most important crossroads of the season. If we go there and we beat them the job remains top six for the rest of the season. It’s not done completely but we will put a very strong bridge to build something important.
“Obviously if we lose it doesn’t mean we are out completely from this area for the rest of the season, but winning the game on Saturday would be an amazing extra lift for the players, for the environment, for everybody. It’s very, very important.
“They’ve had, including the cups, something like 14 good results in a row. In some way they look like us last year when we came from a good run. They have a very high confidence, there is a very solid team, it is clear that the manager handled this group. In some way they play similar to us, very attacking with the two full-backs pushing very high.
“They use the wide areas very well so they’re very similar but if we play with the determination we have to in the first two games then we can damage them and we can be the first team in a few weeks that hurts them in a good way.”