Bournemouth manager Scott Parker put to one side his concerns over a lack of signings, insisting “we’re full battle ahead” for the start of the Premier League season. Parker vocalised his frustrations at a lack of defensive reinforcements following each of the past two pre-season friendlies, as Cherries lost to both Bristol City and Real Sociedad.
Scott Parker said: “It’s clear that we are lacking in a lot of areas. We need to work out whether we want to give ourselves a chance of being competitive this year.”
Asked if he feels those comments were a calculated risk, given the impact it could have on his current squad,
Scott Parker said: “It wasn’t calculated. Maybe it’s emotion after a game and I realise certainly now you’re in the Premier League and every comment is held on to as well. But it is the truth. I am not criticising what I have here. The squad of players I had here showed me last year the fight, the spirit they have. The facts are, like everyone at the football club knows at this moment in time, we need to bring in some players and everyone is trying their hardest to do that. Me as a manager sitting here, I want them in three months ago, of course I do, that’s just because that’s where it is, that’s what I want. I also understand at times it’s difficult, in a market where it is very competitive, in a market which is a lot of teams spending a lot of money. We’re probably in a different market to that, so we have to be creative, while also trying to bring in the right quality. I don’t want to just bring in players here that are not going to improve us or not going to take us on those levels. When you want to and bring players to improve and players to help, the players that you’re looking at are often are players that other clubs want and they don’t want to let go. Of course you can read a headline or my manner in certain moments will give the impression of that, but that’s not the case. We need help, everyone has acknowledged that and everyone in their power is trying to do something about that.”
Discussing his mindset ahead of the start of the season,
Scott Parker added: “We’re full battle ahead now. This is where we are in terms of a squad. My head and the team’s head is solely on Saturday, where we’re going into the biggest league, something we’ve worked tirelessly for last year, this group of players. We need to bring something at the weekend, which is a fighting spirit, a real determination and something that this group of players, myself, the staff, the fans, the owner, the football club wanted all last year. And we worked tirelessly for that. We’re now three days out from that occasion and we need to embrace that. From the minute we walked in on Monday, there was one focus and that focus is Aston Villa, that focus is the quality of what Aston Villa possess and the challenge for us is to go up against this quality, not shirk it, not back away from it, not be scared of it for one second. But to go and try and take this opportunity and assert ourselves as much as we can. So that’s exactly where we are really.”
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