Despite Eddie Howe’s ill-fated attempts to mount pressure on Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers, his team showed in the quarter finals of the Capitol One Cup that it was not necessarily a downhearted affair for the Bournemouth faithful.
The abundance of young, energetic talent combined with a headstrong leadership and experience was proof that the Cherries can push themselves to challenge for top spot in the Championship come May.
Howe’s attacking policy was evident in the first couple of minutes when 20-year-old striker Calum Wilson squandered a glorious opportunity to put the home team in front.
If the former Coventry City player had done so, it would not only have raised the roof off Boundary Park, but you would have struggled to see how Liverpool would have recovered, with their fragile defensive back line helpless to the onslaught that would have followed.
One of the key players in the Bournemouth line-up is Matt Richie who has two equally effective left and right feet, and who could have also scored if his accuracy had been better.
Although Liverpool dealt the sucker punch with two goals in four minutes, the home side did not give up, and were eventually rewarded by netting a consolation.
Four days prior, they showed their resilience by edging out an enthralling 5-3 win over Cardiff, and in the second half at one point it looked like the visitors would snatch and unlikely draw when Morison headed in to make the score 4-3.
However, instead of holding out for slimmest of margins, Bournemouth went on the lookout for a fifth goal and found it through Wilson with just one minute of normal time remaining.
The Saturday before, they came from behind to put in an impressive performance to beat Wolves away, with winger Ritchie scoring the winner with just five minutes remaining.
These games have shown the fundamental reasons why the South Coast club has risen so far up the table, and they are traits which very few Championship teams this season have possessed, but ones that have been previously seen under Sean Dyche at Burnley and QPR in their title-winning campaign of 2011-12.
Bournemouth also have proven players in the Championship who have delivered with the likes of Yan Kermorgant, Andrew Surman and Brett Pittman. Such is the quality of the starting 11, these players do not always start, as Pitman found out on Wednesday.
Artur Boruc proved his Premier League capabilities with a fine save to stop Adam Lallana in the first half. I am sure that he will be one of those keen to prove their former clubs wrong after being demoted by Ronald Koeman at Southampton.
Eddie Howe determines that the big games like that against Liverpool would stand them in good stead, if they were to be promoted:
I think it can make us more hardened to the atmosphere in these games. You’d like to think they’d (big games) be here on a more regular basis.
That’s not saying we will get promoted, but it’s just the big game atmosphere and making sure we respond to the challenge, and I thought it was another positive step towards doing that.
Having been defeated by the Merseyside club, they will be looking to bounce back against troubled Blackpool on Saturday. If they do they could potentially extend their lead at the top to four points if other results go their way.
This will give them momentum going into the packed winter period, which includes a home game against resurgent Fulham on Boxing Day followed by a tricky away game in a hostile environment against Millwall two days later.
Eddie Howe will be hoping his side can perform to their maximum in what could be a crucial period for their promotion bid.