Francis says doubters provide motivation for Bournemouth

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis says that pre-season doubts regarding their Premier League ability acts as their motivation.

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis has told The Daily Echo that the club have not set their sights any higher than trying to secure survival in the Premier League.

Before the start of the current campaign, last season's Championship winner were favourites to go straight back down to the second tier, but the Cherries currently sit four points clear of the relegation zone with 12 matches remaining.

Their position weakened slightly last weekend after they lost 3-1 at home to Stoke City, but Francis has indicated that the south coast club remain undeterred as they continue to be written off in some quarters.

Bournemouth were not fancied to earn promotion from the Championship last season either, and Francis has admitted that they have taken a similar mentality into their efforts to remain in the top flight.

Francis said: "I think before the season started a lot of people were writing us off, tipping us to be relegated and saying we were too small a club to be in the Premier League and we welcome that.

"That's what we're all about as a club. We've always faced up to people outside who said we weren't good enough or big enough and now we want to prove people wrong again and stay in this division.

"We always said from the start of the season, especially when our key players suffered injuries, that survival was the main thing for us and that hasn't changed."

Bournemouth have a weekend off from Premier League action as they focus their attentions on the match with Everton in the FA Cup fifth round.

The league fixture between the two clubs proved to be one of the games of the season as Bournemouth produced an inspired second-half display to draw 3-3 with the Toffees.

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