Partington ready for derby
Joe Partington believes the derby against Southampton will prove Bournemouth's promotion credentials.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 10/03/11 4:36pm
Bournemouth defender Joe Partington believes this weekend's South Coast derby against Southampton will prove their automatic promotion credentials.
The Cherries suffered their first loss under Lee Bradbury at Exeter on Tuesday night and face their fierce local rivals on Saturday in a key six-pointer.
Just three points separate the two sides, with both gunning for automatic promotion, and Wales Under 21 international Partington feels it is by far the biggest game of Bournemouth's season.
"It was always going to be a huge tie at the start of the season and I'm sure it is the one that the fans were looking forward to most, with me being one of them being a Portsmouth-born boy," Partington told skysports.com.
"I don't think that anybody down the road would have expected us to be above them in the table at this stage of the season, so it does give the fixture even more spice and the points coming out of that game are that much more valuable.
"We are confident that we have got enough to beat them and I'm sure that it will be both a great occasion and a great game.
"Southampton could possibly be the ones to watch, but there are a good few teams in the hunt for automatic promotion this season, so you can't rule anyone out at this stage.
"We have played the same amount of games as Huddersfield and we are ahead of them still, so it is ours to lose at the moment.
"The more that we concentrate on ourselves the better and, if others around us slip up, then hopefully we can capitalise on it."