A lot has happened here since my last programme notes, and a week ago we were disappointed to lose at Tottenham.
The way the game panned out it was frustrating to lose, especially as it was down to another set-piece, and we were so close to getting a point against a top team. However there were a lot more positives to take out of that game than the West Bromwich Albion one, and we’ll try and use them going forward today.
That defeat meant that the Blackpool game came at a good time for us. It was good to get the win, move into the next round and score a couple of goals, but it was great that we were able to bring in players like James McArthur who have been missing through injury, new signings making their debuts and give minutes to those late back from international duty in the summer. The squad is now starting to get back to what we always wanted it to be – at full strength.
Christian Benteke was one of those making his debut and despite playing only 45 minutes I thought he showed glimpses of what he’s capable of. It’s now down to us to get the right ammunition to him and hopefully with the quality he’s got, he can start putting the ball in the back of the net and hit the ground running.
We know that we have a good player on our hands; you don’t score as many goals as he has in this league or play for Liverpool if you’re not a top player. We’re lucky to have someone like that at the club and we now need to make sure we get Christian and the other strikers into good areas so they can score some goals.
Today we face Bournemouth and it should be an entertaining game to watch. It’s always tough for teams coming up from the Championship, as we found ourselves, but the way they played against us last year was very good indeed.
It’s going to be a tough game, and one we won’t take lightly as we aim to get our first win on the board and have a good season. After that we have a little breather due to the international break. It always feels strange when the first one comes around, but it’ll give us a chance to get a few players back who are coming into contention again and we should have a much thicker squad after it.
That could also be helped by the final few days of the transfer window and I’m sure the manager and the chairman are working hard to strengthen the squad before Wednesday’s deadline.
It’s tough for clubs and players when the window is still open after the start of the season but it’s the same for every club and we just have to get on with it.
When it does close we can all finally settle down as we know what our squad is going to be for the next couple of months, and get on the training ground and work with what we have.