CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe commiserated with Lee Camp and said the goalkeeper’s inspired display against Leicester had merited a clean sheet.
Camp pulled off a string of fine saves to keep Cherries in the hunt before he was finally beaten by Kevin Phillips’s hotly-disputed late winner.
The 29-year-old twice denied Jamie Vardy after the Foxes striker had gone through one-on-one, his heroics sandwiched between top-drawer stops from Lloyd Dyer and Anthony Knockaert.
Howe said: “He had an excellent day. He kept us in it during the first half and you thought that would be enough to get us a point but it wasn’t to be.
“The one-on-ones were big saves because they gave us belief going into half-time that we could get something from the game. He almost saved the goal as well so we were disappointed because he deserved a clean sheet.”
Howe added: “It was a tough game and the conditions and pitch were difficult to manage. I thought we started game really well and then Leicester came on strong and showed what a good side they are. You have to give them credit because nine wins in a row is a remarkable achievement.
“We had a couple of early chances and had three more in the second half before they scored. We didn’t take them and that is what you need to do in this division because you get found out.
“The margins are really small as we saw on Tuesday when we won against Huddersfield. In both boxes, we just didn’t manage to do the things we needed to.”
Howe made three changes to his starting line-up with Ian Harte, Ryan Fraser and Tokelo Rantie coming in for the injured Charlie Daniels, Matt Ritchie, who dropped to the bench, and Marc Pugh, who was rested. Ritchie and new signing Yann Kermorgant replaced Fraser and Rantie at the break.
“I changed things to keep everybody fresh,” said Howe. “The pitch is as soft as I have ever known it and everybody gave such a big effort against Liverpool and Huddersfield with the same team. I decided to get some fresh players in there and it was an opportunity for other people to impress. We lost the game so it is always up for debate but I thought it was the right call.”
Howe confirmed defender Daniels would be sidelined for around three weeks due to the thigh injury which had forced him off during the early stages of Cherries’ midweek win over Huddersfield.
The left-back had a scan at the end of last week which revealed he had sustained a grade one tear (the least serious), the diagnosis described by Howe as “the best we could have hoped for”.