Sunday 25 August 2019

Scott Malone knows he could face hostile Bournemouth reception

Scott Malone faces former club Bournemouth this weekend
Scott Malone faces former club Bournemouth this weekend

Huddersfield defender Scott Malone is braced for the Bournemouth boo boys when he faces his former club at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Malone left Bournemouth in acrimonious circumstances in 2012 after spending a year with the south-coast club and will return on league duty for the first time.

He joined Millwall from Bournemouth as part of a swap deal - Josh McQuoid moved in the opposite direction - and later upset a number of Cherries fans by claiming he had had "the last laugh".

When asked about any ill-feeling at the time of his Bournemouth departure, Malone said: "There was a little bit."

The 26-year-old added: "I don't think I've played there in the league since I left. I've played a couple of friendlies and I think one cup game.

"I'm looking forward to going back and seeing a few familiar faces - but we're going there to get three points."

When it comes to the crowd reaction, Malone knows what may lie in store.

He said: "I received a few boos when I went back, but that's part and parcel of football. I'm sure players all over the country get it week in, week out.

"How I left, I don't really want to speak about that. But I'm going back with a new club, a Premier League club and I'm looking forward to it."

Soon after joining Millwall, the former England Under-19 international said he had been given no explanation by then Bournemouth boss Paul Groves about why he had been allowed to leave.

" When I left, it was the start of the transition period for them," he said. "Eddie Howe came in not long after I left.

"New owners came in with a lot of money. But I moved on to Millwall and they won back-to-back promotions after I left.

"I had a great time there. It's a great club. They play good football and they've done ever so well since I left."

Both Huddersfield and Bournemouth were in Sky Bet League One then and the Cherries blazed a trail for the smaller clubs before the Terriers completed their own fairy tale promotion to the top flight last season.

Bournemouth have finished 16th and ninth in their two seasons in the Premier League and Malone said he has not been surprised by their success.

"If you look at their form, what they did in the Championship, the way they won the league, it was incredible," he added.

"For me it was one of the best performances of a Championship season for any club going up. It's not a surprise to me at all that they've handled themselves and now established themselves."

Huddersfield could open up a nine-point gap between themselves and the bottom three if they secure a fifth Premier League win of the season.

They will be without suspended centre-half Christopher Schindler, and midfielder Aaron Mooy will be assessed after helping Australia seal their place at the World Cup on Wednesday.

PA Media

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