Matchday twenty in the Premier League ended in a heartbreaking defeat at Old Trafford. Having fallen behind in the first half, our ex-Man Utd frontman Josh King ended a barren spell in-front of goal by finishing off a great team move early in the second half to level the score. Anthony Martial restored the home side’s lead with ten minutes to go before we were awarded a last minute penalty. King had netted both his spot-kicks this season though Dominic Solanke had scored our most recent. On this occasion King stepped up but his last minute attempt was tame and easily saved by David de Gea. The final whistle was soon blown and so we encountered defeat for the third game in a row.
But who should step up with the winner at home to Watford? You’ve got it! That man King displayed great character to score the only goal of the match and soon we’d be fending off January transfer offers for the Norwegian.
With so many matches in quick succession, we simply had to rotate the side for the third round FA Cup clash against Champions League chasing Crystal Palace. Giovanni Simeone wasted two great chances and we went down 2-0.
Next it was back to winning ways against Everton (1-0) in the league thanks to Solanke’s fourth goal of the season. Jorge Mere then netted his first goal for the club to rescue a 1-1 draw against West Ham United before we thoroughly outplayed Chelsea but could only draw 0-0.
As we enter February our record is as follows: P24 W6 D10 L8 F19 A23 P28
Josh King is our top scorer with six goals. Dominic Solanke has contributed four whilst the excellent Asmir Begovic and co. have registered nine clean sheets.
During the January transfer window we reluctantly allowed Adam Smith to join Nice for over £6m meanwhile March Pugh has agreed to join Atletico Mineiro at the expiry of his contract. Sam Surridge (Cagliari) and Anthony Taylor (Portland Timbers) have both headed out on loan.
Sadly contract negotiations with American playmaker Alejandro Bedoya broke down at the last minute but we were able to agree a pre-contract deal with South Korean midfielder Hwang Soon-Min. He’ll join up with the squad in the summer. More immediately however, I’m delighted to announce the signing of 18-year-old central midfielder Max Bird from Derby County for £3.5m. We believe that Bird can compete for a first team place from the off and is the sort of promising young talent to help us make significant onfield progress.
Will he make his Cherries debut in our next match against Cardiff City?