'I feel this is a great team' - Bournemouth are finding form, defender warns Canaries
PUBLISHED: 09:40 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:40 08 October 2019
Bournemouth stalwart Simon Francis has warned Norwich City that the Cherries have been buoyed by showing their true colours in a narrow loss at Arsenal.
Eddie Howe's side are 10th in the Premier League following that 1-0 loss at the Emirates on Sunday, after David Luiz glanced in a Nicolas Pepe corner in the ninth minute.
Callum Wilson and Jack Stacey both went close in the second half but the visitors couldn't force an equaliser.
"The second half was the real us," said defender Francis, who came on in the 79th minute as he continues to make his way back from a long-term knee injury, now in his ninth season with the club.
"If we'd have grown into the first half like we did in the second then we would have given ourselves a much better chance.
"That's probably been our problem away from home at some of the big teams. We have probably taken a bit too long to get going, maybe shown the bigger clubs a bit too much respect. Even sitting on the bench I feel this is a great team at the moment, a great squad to be involved in and we should have no fear coming to these places.
"The players are good enough and unfortunately, the second-half chances we created we should have scored. But it didn't go our way, we dust ourselves down, go away and get ready for Norwich.
"While we can take a lot of positives on Sunday, I think the lads and the manager will be disappointed we didn't get more from it."
The Cherries host Norwich when the international break comes to a conclusion, on Saturday, October 19, with the Canaries looking to bounce back from three successive defeats.
Asked if the current squad is the best he's been a part of, talking to the Bournemouth Echo, Francis said: "Oh, by far, when everyone is fit, it's the best squad, I think.
"We have a great mix of youth and experience now. International quality as well. When everyone is fully fit, I think it's going to be a very competitive squad and one we can build on for certainly at least a top-half table finish.
"It's certainly the most competitive and the most quality we have had in this squad and long may it continue."