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Howe left to rue two key incidents in Leicester defeat
Howe had looked on as Marc Pugh’s stunning strike had cancelled out David Nugent’s opener to see Cherries reach the break on level terms.
But just minutes after Jamie Vardy had capitalised on hesitancy from Ryan Allsop to fire the Foxes back in front, Cherries were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Elliott Ward.
Howe said: “I thought we were well in the game in the first half. We had some really nice passages of play and a couple of really good opportunities where we didn’t work the goalkeeper.
“We conceded a goal and showed good character to not let it affect us. We came back to score a great goal ourselves and, at half-time, you felt it could have gone either way.
“I didn’t think we quite hit the same levels in the second half and it was backs to the wall. We were coping okay until we conceded a poor goal and then the sending off changed the game. It made it very difficult to build any pressure.
“We felt we had weathered the storm and defended set-plays very well. We hung in there and hadn’t conceded when perhaps it looked like we might. We felt the longer we could keep it at 1-1, we would have a great chance to win the game but that spell with the goal and the sending off knocked us.
“You struggle to keep the ball with 10 men and to build any pressure. We were hoping for a breakaway at the end which didn’t come.
“Our goal was a really well-worked move and a great finish from Marc. It was great to see him on the scoresheet and we need our wide men to chip in with goals, as he has in the past two weeks.
“We got into similar positions quite a lot in the first half and perhaps didn’t have that killer instinct. But there were passages of play, especially towards the end of the first half, when we felt we were in control of the game and dominating possession. Unfortunately, we seemed to lose that momentum at the start of the second half and, ultimately, that cost us.”
Howe said he had no complaints with Ward’s two yellow cards and admitted the defender had been “quite fortunate” to escape unpunished after he had kicked the ball away in the first half. Despite being on a yellow card, Howe said he had not considering substituting Ward.
Discussing the escape, Howe said: “I think Elliott was slightly disappointed after he had miscontrolled the ball and it had gone out of play. I think a little bit of frustration crept in. I don’t think he kicked the ball away to waste time, it was just one of those things in frustration. I suppose you could say he was quite fortunate.”
Asked if he had considered subbing Ward, Howe replied: “He is a very experienced player and has been one of our key figures this season. He has played extremely well and you want him on the pitch. It was just one of those things and I didn’t think about taking him off.”
Howe added: “We have played two of the strongest teams in the division away from home in consecutive games and knew it was going to be a tough spell.
“I think we have come through the games reflecting that we should have more points but that we are not far away from being competitive in the division. When you get promotion, there is always that thought of how strong are you going to be and I don’t think we are that far away from being able to mix it with teams at the top end of the table.
“We should take great confidence from these two games. In saying that, we still have areas to improve and things we need to learn quickly because the margins are so small.
“I don’t think we are far away from beating a top team in this division and, hopefully, getting a consistent run of results. I think our performances generally have improved week by week and, hopefully, that will continue to be the case.”
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