Two former Crystal Palace men could line up against each other tomorrow at the Goldsands Stadium as Latics look to claim two wins in two games against AFC Bournemouth.
Cherries’ striker Lewis Grabban (pictured in action last week against Watford) was in the Youth Team and Reserves at Selhurst Park at the same time Emmerson Boyce was in the first team and Latics’ skipper admits he’ll be one to keep an eye on this weekend.
“I was at Crystal Palace with Lewis (Grabban) and he’s been on fire with three goals in two games this season.
“When I was at Palace he was still in the Youth Team and on the verge of the Reserves so didn’t really get a chance in the first team.
“I’ve been watching out for him in the last few years and he’s been scoring a lot of goals, especially at Rotherham and then now at Bournemouth.
“He’s had a good start to this season and hopefully, apart from in our games against them, he’ll do really well this season.
“He’ll be one of the players we’ll have to watch out for this weekend because he’s quick and has an eye for goal and Bournemouth will look to use him to hurt us.”
Boyce himself has fond memories of games against Bournemouth as he scored his first professional goal against them in 2000 for Luton Town (current Cherries manager Eddie Howe and midfielder Richard Hughes featured in that game).
Another more recent memory is that of the start of last season’s FA Cup run as Latics faced Bournemouth twice in the third round, drawing 1-1 at the DW Stadium before winning in the away game 1-0, two games which Boyce said proved the most difficult in the competition.
“We’ll be the first to admit that we were lucky to get through last season, especially the home game because they were in the lead in played really well.
“Bournemouth was probably our most difficult opponent in the FA Cup in terms of the chances they created.”
The Cherries pushed Latics to the edge and even held the lead in the first game, something which Boyce says showed they already had Championship quality last season.
“In the replay they forced Ali (Al Habsi) into some really good saves and pushed us but I suppose that was the bit of luck we needed in the FA Cup.
“Looking back at that game it set us up really well for the cup because it was such a tough two-legged game.
“I could tell at the time that they had Championship quality about them and they were on a very good unbeaten run so we did well at the time to beat them.
“Bournemouth try and play football the right way under Eddie Howe and we’ve got to be very careful on Saturday and not turn up complacent.
“We’ve got to give 100% again to get the right result.”