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Cherries: Howe focused on a league response to cup exit
CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe urged his players to quickly switch their focus to the club’s League One promotion push following last night’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Wigan.
Cherries’ bid to set a new club record of 19 successive matches unbeaten came up agonisingly short as Howe’s men were knocked out by Mauro Boselli’s 18th-minute drive.
A capacity crowd at Dean Court saw Eunan O’Kane, Cherries’ goalscorer in the 1-1 draw with Wigan at the DW Stadium, and Marc Pugh both rattle the woodwork in the third round replay.
Shwan Jalal produced a sensational save from a Boselli header before Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi leapt to his right to push clear Matt Tubbs’s last-gasp free-kick as Cherries suffered their first loss since Howe’s return.
However, the Cherries manager called on his in-form team to now focus on Saturday’s league trip to Walsall.
Howe said: “I think we need to take this result in isolation and almost forget about it. We can be really pleased with how we have performed in the two games but now we move to the league form and that is all-important for us.
“We are still unbeaten in the league and I think that is how we have to approach it now and try to go to Walsall and win our next game, which is key for us.”
Discussing the cup defeat, Howe added: “We threw everything at Wigan and, apart from their goalkeeper making some great saves, and the woodwork, I felt we would have earned extra-time.”
Howe confirmed that leading goalscorer Lewis Grabban had been substituted due to a knee injury.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports last night claimed Cherries had agreed a fee with Aberdeen for 18-year-old winger Ryan Fraser.