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AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe pleased with improved second-half showing
Howe’s men earned a share of the spoils when Marc Pugh’s dramatic late strike cancelled out Henri Lansbury’s first-half wonder goal for the high-flying hosts.
“We knew it was going to be a really tough game,” said Howe. “Their home form has been excellent and the way they play is excellent as well. They are very intense with their closing down and they press you from the front. They are a good side so for us to get something was, hopefully, a big moment.
“I was really pleased with the character shown by the players. We were disappointed and frustrated because we hadn’t been at our best in the first half and knew we could do better. Although we had a couple of really good chances, we weren’t at our fluent best and our passing was slow and laboured and we made some bad decisions.
“But, in saying that, we asked the players for a response and they certainly gave us one in the second half because we dominated, imposed ourselves, chased the game very well and were fully deserving of a point.
“Although we probably didn’t have as many good chances as in the first half, I was very pleased with certain aspects of the second. We kept passing the ball and didn’t just chuck long balls into their box to try to break them down.
“We stuck to our principles and it was a great comeback against a team which will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. To come to a huge club and get a positive result should give us a big confidence booster.”
Howe, asked whether Cherries’ start to the season had been better than he had anticipated, replied: “I don’t think you quite know what to expect when you come up.
“Some players have adapted really well and have grown to the level and are getting better and better. A couple of others have probably struggled but, as a team, we are hopefully moving in the right direction and progressing well.
“But it is a changing landscape. You need to maintain your work ethic and be at your best every day, otherwise you will slip up in this division.”
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