WHY GAM­BLER PIT­MAN’S SO GLAD THAT HE PICKED CHER­RIES

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Chris Dunlavy

BRETT Pit­man gave up on the Cham­pi­onship to re­join League One Bournemouth – but af­ter six goals in as many games, his gam­ble looks like paying off.

Prolific in his first spell at Dean Court, the striker was snapped up by Bris­tol City for £1m in 2010. But de­spite scor­ing 20 goals in just 33 starts, the 25year-old be­came in­creas­ingly pe­riph­eral at Ash­ton Gate and was even­tu­ally loaned back to Bournemouth in Novem­ber, one of Derek McInnes’ fi­nal acts as man­ager.

Iron­i­cally, the Robins then ap­pointed Sean O’Driscoll, the man who dis­cov­ered Pit­man play­ing in his na­tive Jersey.

Shame

By then, though, it was too late. Pit­man had re­turned to Bournemouth and, with the Cher­ries set for pro­mo­tion from League One and Bris­tol City bot­tom of the Cham­pi­onship, he now looks set to swap places with his former side.

“It’s a shame it didn’t work out,” he says. “But I don’t re­gret any­thing. If you look at my goal­sto-games ra­tio, it’s pretty good.

“The over­rid­ing feel­ing from my time at Bris­tol is frus­tra­tion. The only time I had a proper run in the team, I scored quite a lot of goals. I was ac­tu­ally the club’s top scorer in the two full sea­sons I was there – and that was with­out really play­ing much. In the third sea­son, I didn’t really play at all.

“I don’t know if Derek McInnes didn’t fancy me. He liked to play one up front a lot and I’d have been happy to do it, but he ob­vi­ously felt it didn’t suit me. It was ob­vi­ous it was time to move on. But the good thing for me is, I know I can score goals in the Cham­pi­onship if we do go up. I’ve proved that at Bris­tol City.”

The last time Pit­man was at Bournemouth, Ed­die Howe was a rookie man­ager and the club was pen­ni­less, mired in ad­min­is­tra­tion. Now, Howe is older and wiser af­ter 18 months at Burnley, while the club is boom­ing thanks to in­vest­ment from Rus­sian busi­ness­man Maxim Demin.

“Oh, it’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent club,” he says.“From the sta­dium and the car parks to the train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and pitches, ev­ery­thing’s bet­ter. It’s a club that’s def­i­nitely ready to go to the next level.

Money

“It’s nice to know you’re go­ing to get your money at the end of each month and know that you’ve got a chance of chal­leng­ing at the right end of the ta­ble.”

Pit­man also says Howe, whose re­turn from Burnley in Oc­to­ber sparked a rise from 20th place to sec­ond in the ta­ble, is a bet­ter man­ager for his Cham­pi­onship ex­pe­ri­ence.

“He is dif­fer­ent,” says Pit­man.“I think he’s ma­tured as a man­ager, and his man-man­age­ment has really be­come his ma­jor strength. In his first stint here, he prob­a­bly only had 13 or 14 play­ers to look af­ter, and that was on a good day.

“At Burnley, he was work­ing with a big squad just out of the Pre­mier League and he ob­vi­ously had to adapt. Now that he’s back here, with 20-odd play­ers, you can see how good he is at han­dling peo­ple.Whether you’re in the team, on the bench or not even in the 16, he treats you ex­actly the same.

“Ed­die was the de­cid­ing fac­tor in me coming here. He’s very or­gan­ised, he knows what he wants. He keeps the lads on their toes mo­ti­va­tion-wise, but with­out go­ing over the top.

“And he wants to play foot­ball the right way. It’s really very sim­ple. He want to get it down quick, get out wide and then put balls into the box. For a striker like me, it’s per­fect.”

PIC­TURE: Ian Christy

RIGHT CHOICE: Brett Pit­man swapped Bris­tol City in the Cham­pi­onship for League One Bournemouth with boss Ed­die Howe, in­set.

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