Elphick looking forward to Suarez tussle

Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick is hoping to come up against Liverpool's Luis Suarez when the two sides meet in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Elphick, a boyhood Liverpool fan, expressed his pleasure at the Uruguayan striker's decision to stay at Anfield last summer. 

Suarez was the subject of interest from a number of clubs, with plenty of suitors away from the Barclays Premier League - where the 26-year-old was still in the middle of serving a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

But the former Ajax man remained at Liverpool and, since finishing his suspension, has struck 22 goals in 19 games to keep Brendan Rodgers' side on the coat-tails of the league leaders.

Elphick knows just how good Suarez is, watching Liverpool as a fan, but revealed he would rather face the daunting prospect of marking Reds' talisman than seeing him sat on the substitutes' bench at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday.

With Suarez's current scoring record, Elphick rates him as one of the best three players in the world and the Cherries' skipper was delighted that the forward resisted the temptation to leave England.

With Suarez's current scoring record, Elphick rates him as one of the best three players in the world and the Cherries' skipper was delighted that the forward resisted the temptation to leave England.

When asked if he was glad Suarez stayed, Elphick replied: "Yes, not only for Liverpool, but for English football.

"He's showing why the Premier League is the greatest league in the world and for Liverpool to keep him was a massive statement.

"I'd be delighted if he plays; disappointed if he's on the bench.

"I've been lucky enough to play against [Cristiano] Ronaldo and it's a day I'll look back on and tell the kids and grandkids about in years to come. You want to play against these players. In the league we're in you don't get to do it every week."

While some Premier League, and even Sky Bet Championship, sides have decided to place other competitions above the FA Cup in their priorities, Elphick believes a club of Liverpool's stature will be looking to go all the way this year.

"The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham have got to be looking to win a competition like this, and if you start changing your team it can be dangerous," he said.

"You saw that with Liverpool in the last round: they got through but they were under a lot of pressure.

"I don't think it's still regarded by the top, top teams but the teams just below that are having to try to win the competition because it can keep managers in a job and help spark something off."

Elphick may be comparing notes with older brother Gary ahead of the tie as he was in the Havant and Waterlooville squad when the non-league outfit twice took the lead at Anfield before losing 5-2 in a fourth-round tie in 2008.

"He was quite lucky," Elphick said of Gary, who currently turns out for Tonbridge Angels in The Skrill South.

"He was involved in that tie, so it's a bit of a coincidence. For me, I never rest on my laurels. This game changes so quick: one minute you're up and one minute you're down, so days like this have to be cherished, and they can change your life if you put in a good show. That's what makes the FA Cup so special as well.

"That was totally different. I think they were in the Conference South. It's a little bit different circumstances for us"

 



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update