AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe's delight as Cherries in seventh heaven

Bournemouth Echo: AFC Bournemouth: Howe's delight as Cherries in seventh heaven AFC Bournemouth: Howe's delight as Cherries in seventh heaven

CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe presided over a record-breaking seventh away win in the second flight and then praised his players for the “consistency of their performances”.

Lewis Grabban’s double, his second from the penalty spot, coupled with goals from Matt Ritchie and Ian Harte earned Cherries a 4-2 victory at Birmingham City.

It saw Cherries cap a memorable March during which Howe’s men have closed the gap on the play-off places from 14 to five points thanks to six wins and a draw from eight games.

Cherries have seven games remaining and will be looking to make further inroads when they host fellow promotion hopefuls QPR on Saturday and Reading a week tomorrow.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “When you are in good form and confident, you believe you can win any game and it certainly helps when they come thick and fast. We have faced some big challenges on the road during what has been a hectic period and full credit to the players for the consistency of their performances because they have had to go again and again.”

Ritchie opened the scoring when he bagged his sixth goal of the season with a cushioned volley after 13 minutes before Grabban’s tap-in from a Marc Pugh cross made it 2-0.

Cherries, who had raced into a 3-0 lead after 28 minutes during the midweek win over Leeds, repeated the feat when Grabban netted from the spot after he had been upended by Blues goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

Harte recorded his first goal for the club with an absolute beauty early in the second half, his rasping left-foot strike from the edge of the box whistling past Randolph.

And although Manchester United loan star Federico Macheda grabbed a second-half double to reduce the arrears, Cherries defended stoutly to make it 19 points from a possible 24 during a fruitful month.

Howe added: “It was a great first-half performance and we looked a real goal threat. We counter-attacked really well throughout the game. We were well on top and well in control and dominated a decent side.

“Birmingham were a Premier League club just three years ago so we were pleased to turn them over so convincingly. We thought the fourth goal would have put the game to bed but, fair play to Birmingham, because they showed good character to keep going and we had to defend well to see out the game after they had scored twice.”

Comments (5)

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9:28am Mon 31 Mar 14

North stand badger says...

I dont want to put a dampener on all this play off talk but at times on Saturday i thought we were a bit sloppy giving the ball away a few times and our defence got pulled badly out of position for 20 minutes in the second half. Chatting to Tommy Elphick in the service station he admitted that we got a bit complacent. However in the first half we were electric and they could not live with us so if we can just tighten up a bit and keep our concentration we can beat anyone in this league
I dont want to put a dampener on all this play off talk but at times on Saturday i thought we were a bit sloppy giving the ball away a few times and our defence got pulled badly out of position for 20 minutes in the second half. Chatting to Tommy Elphick in the service station he admitted that we got a bit complacent. However in the first half we were electric and they could not live with us so if we can just tighten up a bit and keep our concentration we can beat anyone in this league North stand badger
  • Score: 3

9:30am Mon 31 Mar 14

mark.s says...

We can't go to a club like Birmingham and expect to dominate the entire game from start to finish. Important thing is we did more than enough to win the game, and were absolutely unstoppable for the first half.
We can't go to a club like Birmingham and expect to dominate the entire game from start to finish. Important thing is we did more than enough to win the game, and were absolutely unstoppable for the first half. mark.s
  • Score: 13

10:34am Mon 31 Mar 14

Square Old Codger says...

Two home games to come, both against top six teams will be a real test for us, win those and it will really get interesting! A great win on Saturday though. The squad and their performances are a tribute to Eddie and Jason's hard work, they have assembled a group of hard working , dedicated professionals of ability and good character, who want to improve and be the best they can. Good luck to them all..
Two home games to come, both against top six teams will be a real test for us, win those and it will really get interesting! A great win on Saturday though. The squad and their performances are a tribute to Eddie and Jason's hard work, they have assembled a group of hard working , dedicated professionals of ability and good character, who want to improve and be the best they can. Good luck to them all.. Square Old Codger
  • Score: 13

5:01pm Mon 31 Mar 14

coops1965cherry says...

I cannot really disagree with any of the previous comments to be fair because they all have valid points that actually seem to cover the general feeling amongst most cherries fans.
We are not really sure how to react to an outstanding season so far, it genuinely is beyond all our wildest dreams and better than anyone gave us credit for or being able to achieve,

We really are capable of beating anyone in this league and we have proved that already. It really is possible to win our next two home games and just look where that would put us.
I just hope that the club itself is ready regarding the stadium and the infrastructure that is required for the next level, because by the looks of it the playing staff and the players are looking only in that direction.

Now you can make up your own minds but the facts are, we are in form and knocking on the door, whether it is this season or next season, Eddy and Jason are not here to waste time or to tread water they have ambition and clarity of focus so you had better start believing.

U T C I A D
I cannot really disagree with any of the previous comments to be fair because they all have valid points that actually seem to cover the general feeling amongst most cherries fans. We are not really sure how to react to an outstanding season so far, it genuinely is beyond all our wildest dreams and better than anyone gave us credit for or being able to achieve, We really are capable of beating anyone in this league and we have proved that already. It really is possible to win our next two home games and just look where that would put us. I just hope that the club itself is ready regarding the stadium and the infrastructure that is required for the next level, because by the looks of it the playing staff and the players are looking only in that direction. Now you can make up your own minds but the facts are, we are in form and knocking on the door, whether it is this season or next season, Eddy and Jason are not here to waste time or to tread water they have ambition and clarity of focus so you had better start believing. U T C I A D coops1965cherry
  • Score: 1

5:26pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Square Old Codger says...

coops1965cherry wrote:
I cannot really disagree with any of the previous comments to be fair because they all have valid points that actually seem to cover the general feeling amongst most cherries fans. We are not really sure how to react to an outstanding season so far, it genuinely is beyond all our wildest dreams and better than anyone gave us credit for or being able to achieve, We really are capable of beating anyone in this league and we have proved that already. It really is possible to win our next two home games and just look where that would put us. I just hope that the club itself is ready regarding the stadium and the infrastructure that is required for the next level, because by the looks of it the playing staff and the players are looking only in that direction. Now you can make up your own minds but the facts are, we are in form and knocking on the door, whether it is this season or next season, Eddy and Jason are not here to waste time or to tread water they have ambition and clarity of focus so you had better start believing. U T C I A D
The plan is to keep the temporary stand for next Season and to then develop the South End and increase capacity to 25,000 ( Jeff's statement made early this month) I really can't see them doing that and not owning the ground. To make the play offs this year would mean us taking maximum points from every game and those above us losing a couple of games each, a possible, but unlikely scenario. Suspect that should we actually make the play offs there would be panic stations. We probably need a couple of years to build the necessary infrastructure, the squad and the finances. Interesting times!!! every possibility exists!!
[quote][p][bold]coops1965cherry[/bold] wrote: I cannot really disagree with any of the previous comments to be fair because they all have valid points that actually seem to cover the general feeling amongst most cherries fans. We are not really sure how to react to an outstanding season so far, it genuinely is beyond all our wildest dreams and better than anyone gave us credit for or being able to achieve, We really are capable of beating anyone in this league and we have proved that already. It really is possible to win our next two home games and just look where that would put us. I just hope that the club itself is ready regarding the stadium and the infrastructure that is required for the next level, because by the looks of it the playing staff and the players are looking only in that direction. Now you can make up your own minds but the facts are, we are in form and knocking on the door, whether it is this season or next season, Eddy and Jason are not here to waste time or to tread water they have ambition and clarity of focus so you had better start believing. U T C I A D[/p][/quote]The plan is to keep the temporary stand for next Season and to then develop the South End and increase capacity to 25,000 ( Jeff's statement made early this month) I really can't see them doing that and not owning the ground. To make the play offs this year would mean us taking maximum points from every game and those above us losing a couple of games each, a possible, but unlikely scenario. Suspect that should we actually make the play offs there would be panic stations. We probably need a couple of years to build the necessary infrastructure, the squad and the finances. Interesting times!!! every possibility exists!! Square Old Codger
  • Score: 2

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