CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe hailed the impact of record signing Tokelo Rantie after the South African inspired his team to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Barnsley last night.
The former Malmo striker only flew into the country on Sunday after finally being handed a visa and having had just one training session with his team-mates he was thrown into the action with 55 minutes on the clock.
Cherries’ top scorer Lewis Grabban had already missed a guilt-edged chance to break the deadlock but the arrival of Rantie sparked the home crowd and their team into life.
Within seconds of his introduction he twisted and turned and bent a shot inches wide and his pace kept the Tykes defence on their toes as the Cherries upped the ante.
And even after Marc Pugh drilled home the only goal Rantie had a chance to make things comfortable but despite his failure to find that dream debut goal his new manager was full of praise.
“I thought he did well, these are big changes for him,” Howe said. “I thought he did so well, and the first thing he did was nearly score.
“He made the difference and I thought that front three worked really well. It was an easy decision (not to start him) purely because he has had one training session with us and a long flight.
“There is certainly not any pressure from me but obviously I know there is media and fan expectation but I know he will do his best.
“With the ability he has got I am sure he will be a big success.”
And while Rantie’s arrival boosts Howe’s options he could make the long trip to Middlesbrough without defender Charlie Daniels.
“We think it is a re-occurrence of Charlie’s heel injury, so we will have to wait on that,” he said.