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Cherries: Mixed feelings for Howe following Swindon draw
Howe said his players deserved “a lot of credit” after extending to 18 games their unbeaten run – matching a feat achieved by David Webb’s promotion winners in 1982.
But he also revealed there had been an element of disappointment in the dressing room after Andy Williams’s late leveller had denied Cherries victory over the Robins.
Williams netted following a defensive mix-up five minutes from time, his effort earning the visitors a share of the spoils after Harry Arter had drawn first blood for Cherries in the first half.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “I think it is a good thing that there is some disappointment in the camp. The players are used to winning games and they want to win every game.
“Hopefully, the supporters can see what a great run and a great effort it has been from the players. They should be very proud of them to have equalled a club record. The club has been here a long time so the players deserve a lot of credit for showing the character to match the record.”
While Cherries remained seventh in League One, the gap to the automatic promotion places widened from eight to 10 points following victories for top two Tranmere and Doncaster.
Howe, who has seen Cherries claim 35 points from a possible 45 since his return in October, said: “It is a great battle, a great race and there are a lot of good teams up there. As we are playing catch-up as such, every time we don’t win, the end goal seems even further away. Although we are on an excellent run, we still have a lot of work to do.
“Every time we don’t win, it puts more pressure on us. We are very happy with what we have done in terms of getting back into the race but it is really important we don’t let the top teams get too far away.”
Cherries were leading at half-time when referee Phil Gibbs called for a pitch inspection following heavy rain towards the end of the first half. However, following work from the groundstaff, the official gave the green light for the match to continue.
Howe said: “I thought it had been a really good match until the heavens opened. It had been end to end with two teams really going at each other. It was fascinating.
“But I thought the conditions ruined it which was a real shame from our perspective. Being a footballing team, it was difficult to play our normal game and we had to adjust slightly. I thought that played into their hands.
“I felt we had been well in control while we could still play our stuff and thought we were looking like we were going to score a second goal to kill the game. But the longer it went on and the worse the conditions got, I thought Swindon, with how they played, adapted slightly better.
“The referee had a difficult call to make at half-time. We were 1-0 up and wanted the game to carry on. I think he had a slight doubt about what to do. It is easy to say after the game it was the wrong decision because we drew. It was the right decision but it did change the game.”