Bournemouth are rock-solid atop the Championship after going FIFTEEN matches unbeaten with Reading win… but Scott Parker insists he is ‘not bothered about records’ after best-ever start
- Bournemouth remain unbeaten in the Championship after beating Reading 2-0
- The Cherries are enjoying their best season start and are close to more records
- Scott Parker isn’t getting carried away as his side tighten their grip on the lead
Scott Parker continues to insist that setting new records doesn’t really bother him but there’s no denying the numbers are stacking up nicely for Bournemouth.
A 15th match unbeaten means this is now the club’s best-ever opening to a league campaign, breaking a previous benchmark that had stood for 60 years. Liverpool are the only other unbeaten side in England’s top four divisions and they’ve played five fewer games.
Saturday night’s success at Reading means it’s 11 wins from those 15, including victories in each of Bournemouth’s last five and nine of their last 10.
Bournemouth are five points clear in the Championship after beating Ready on Saturday
Scott Parker’s side look setup for a dominant season but the manager isn’t getting over excited
Throw in nine clean sheets as well, no goals conceded in 672 minutes away from home in the league and just eight let in overall, and you begin to understand the Cherries’ five-point cushion at the top and nine-point buffer to third.
For Parker, it’s bubbling up into an intriguing promotion tussle with Fulham, the club he left in the summer following relegation from the Premier League to take up a new challenge on the south coast.
Maybe his caution comes from an appreciation of history. Back in 1961-62, when the club had the more unwieldy name of Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic, that bright start translated into a third-place finish in the old third division, not good enough for promotion.
Dominic Solanke was on the scoresheet alongside Jamal Lowe for the Cherries in a 2-0 win
A more recent cautionary tale comes from Brighton, who went their first 21 matches unbeaten in 2015-16 only to end up third.
‘I’m not too bothered about records. This division is long,’ said Parker. ‘But it is no mean feat to do what we’ve done. I’m very proud.’
There is a completeness and an efficiency about Parker’s side that suggests they won’t be let down in May. It was all in evidence at Reading, where they had to weather an early storm which really should have seen them fall behind before gradually gaining control.
Dominic Solanke, with his 12th goal of the season, headed them in front just before half-time and Jamal Lowe sealed the points a couple of minutes after Parker brought him on.
Bournemouth are having their best start to a season of all-time, breaking a 60-year record
While Bournemouth do bear all the hallmarks of a Parker side — speedy wingers and everyone comfortable in possession — this win owed just as much to the steadfastness of their back line, including 35-year-old Gary Cahill. Signed on a free from Crystal Palace in the summer, he is forging a formidable partnership with Lloyd Kelly, 23.
‘Gary Cahill brings big titles, the Champions League, he’s smelt it, got the t-shirt,’ said Parker. ‘He understands what you need to do over the course of a season. He is massive for the lads with that voice, he has lived it and done it.
‘When the opportunity comes up to sign Cahill, there are certain ones that are just no-brainers. Gary ticks all the boxes and he is a massive player for us.’
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