When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
AFC Bournemouth: Prized assets will be staying put vows Howe
Howe was speaking after Matt Ritchie and Eunan O’Kane – two of the club’s star performers in recent weeks – had both netted to set up Cherries’ 3-0 win over Yeovil yesterday.
Winger Ritchie, who has been a revelation since returning last month following a lengthy injury absence, scored twice to take his personal tally to five in six starts.
Midfielder O’Kane, who has been catching the eye in a slightly deeper role, capped another impressive display by bagging his maiden goal in the Championship, a stunning individual strike.
And although the pair are two of a host of young players who could attract attention when the transfer window re-opens next week, Howe is adamant his squad will remain intact.
Howe, who has already seen defender Steve Cook linked with a number of Premier League clubs, told the Daily Echo: “I have always maintained the stance that I am pleased when other clubs recognise our players. I think it is a sign that, as a team generally, you are performing well.
“You can’t stop speculation. All you can do is say we are not a selling club now. We want to progress and move forward and, to do that, you need to keep your best players.”
Ritchie, a bargain £500,000 buy from Swindon 11 months ago, fired Cherries ahead with a thunderous drive following good work by Ryan Fraser, another shrewd acquisition by Howe last season.
And after Ritchie had doubled Cherries’ lead with a delightful lofted effort, which appeared to clip Yeovil defender Shane Duffy, O’Kane completed the scoring with a finely-taken strike.
Victory saw Cherries register back-to-back wins for the first time this season with loan goalkeeper Lee Camp keeping their first clean sheet for 14 games. It also ended a run of four home games without a triumph and left Howe’s men 10 points above the drop zone and seven shy of the play-off places.
Howe added: “I was really pleased with the first-half performance and it was a similar story to Birmingham where we had chance after chance but didn’t score. I wouldn’t say you fear the worst but you certainly think here we go again.
“Some of the football we played to create the chances was top drawer. I didn’t think we quite hit the heights of the first half in the second but we scored three goals and won the game comfortably.
“Our home results recently have been disappointing but the performances, in the main, have been very good. But you do need to get results to back that up and we did that against a very spirited and dogged Yeovil team so I was very pleased.”
Comments are closed on this article.