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AFC Bournemouth: Unpredictable start no surprise to Howe
Howe’s men have experienced fluctuating fortunes in their first four games – with impressive home wins over Charlton and Wigan tempered by heavy defeats at Watford and Huddersfield.
Cherries, buoyed by their improved display on the road in the League Cup defeat at Vicarage Road on Wednesday, will be hoping to put their first away points on the board when they meet Doncaster tomorrow (3pm).
“We have certainly had our ups and downs,” said Howe. “It has been difficult to take because, in the two away games when we have been heavily beaten, we have actually performed pretty well for long spells. I know people will disbelieve that due to the scorelines but we have given away some needless goals and that has been our Achilles heel.
“But, in terms of performances, I have been involved with teams which have been heavily beaten 1-0 when you are not in the game, you don’t see the ball and the other team lays siege to your goal.
"We have certainly more than matched our opponents but have been ruthlessly exposed for any mistakes defensively. That is the nature of the division and we have come up against two in-form strikers who have punished us heavily. It is something we will definitely try to address.”
Howe’s preparations for both away games were disrupted when Tommy Elphick suffered a back injury ahead of the Watford drubbing and Elliott Ward returned home before the Huddersfield game due to the impending birth of his son.”
Responding to a question about the adverse reaction to the defeats from a section of supporters, Howe said: “I think it is difficult for supporters to have the same mentality as I would. I am very much of the opinion that we learn from a win and a defeat. We try to get better every day and you try to reflect on performances rather than results.
“Results are in the lap of the gods but performances, in the main, have been okay. I know the scorelines tell a different story and they are what you are judged on. We will continue to try to react positively.”
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