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AFC Bournemouth: Boss Eddie Howe hails game-management skills of streetwise Cherries
CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe has heaped praise on his players for taking on board and implementing an astute game-management strategy.
Howe’s charges have noticeably become a lot more streetwise on the pitch since stepping into the Championship this season.
And while they have turned in a series of excellent displays to climb to eighth in the table, the players have also upped their game in terms of managing different situations.
Cherries used their nous to run down the clock and protect their leads during wins over Charlton, Wigan, Doncaster and Barnsley, while other subtle tactics have benefited them.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “It is something we talk about and work on as much as we can. It is all very well playing the style of football we want and it can be labelled that you are too nice and too open.
“Sometimes, you have to be very clever in certain things you do so we have worked on managing the game. I have to say the players have taken it on brilliantly because it can be a multitude of things.
“It doesn’t mean time-wasting, it can mean just being very clever with the situation you are faced with and making sure you don’t make decisions that make things easier for the opposition.
“I think the lads have done that really well in different ways. I don’t think we have overstepped the mark in any way. We are a very fair team. We play the game in the right manner and I am a firm believer that we would certainly never do anything to ever break the rules or break the tradition of the game.
“It is about little things that can make a big difference to the result of the game. You have to make sure you are not vulnerable and maybe too nice.”
Howe, meanwhile, believes goalkeeper Ryan Allsop may need to tread a little more carefully after picking up no fewer than three bookings for time-wasting.
Allsop, who would serve a ban should he received two more yellow cards before the end of the year, collected his third caution at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“It is something Ryan is going to have to learn to deal with probably a little bit better,” said Howe. “He certainly doesn’t want to get to five and I certainly don’t want him to get to five.
“He has put a little bit of pressure on himself but that is only through youth really. I am sure he will grow from it and learn that these bookings could end up harming him going forward. Hopefully, it is something he will learn from.”
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