AFC Bournemouth: Tommy Elphick relishing Brighton reunion

Tommy Elphick

Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick says he is relishing facing Brighton on Saturday - the club where he began his professional career.

Elphick came through Brighton's academy making 182 appearances for the club.

The 26-year-old spent nearly seven years with the Seagulls before signing for the Cherries in August 2012 and is excited about facing his old team.

"When the fixtures came out, it was the first game I looked for," Elphick told BBC Radio Solent.

But he says despite having began his career at Brighton, his loyalties are fully with the Cherries and is determined to help them earn a vital three points.

"I'm very much a Bournemouth player now," he said.

"My ties with Brighton are I have a great connection with the fans, always did have. A great connection with some of the board members and the core of the squad.

"It will be nice to see some old faces but come kick off it is business and my heart is fully in the Bournemouth camp."

Elphick hopes he can help provide some useful tactical insight into the Brighton squad and the way they play.

"The manager has changed since I was there but the philosophy has remained," he said.

"Hopefully that'll give me a bit of inside knowledge as to what to expect and a bit of advantage.

"We used to pass teams to death and then pick them off but hopefully the way we play will make it hard for Brighton to have so much possession. We also like to keep possession so won't give it away easily. It should be interesting."

The Cherries have won only once in their last nine matches, but Elphick, who has returned to the side because of an injury to Elliott Ward, believes just one victory could spark a change in their fortunes.

"The one thing we are lacking is that one win, I think everyone would draw great confidence and a lift," he said. "We are young and improving and have proved we deserve to be at this level."