BOSS Eddie Howe hailed an “excellent trip and performance” as Cherries rounded off their training camp in Austria with a 2-2 draw against FC Copenhagen tonight.
Goals from Matt Ritchie and trialist Rakish Bingham sandwiched a Rurik Gíslason effort and Franco Mussis’s penalty as the pre-season friendly honours finished even at the Vulkanlandarena.
Howe fielded two different teams in each half with every fit member of his squad given a 45-minute run-out against the Danish outfit. New signing Junior Stanislas and goalkeeper Lee Camp were both rested as a precaution.
Ritchie fired Cherries into the lead with a low drive on the stroke of half-time before Bingham seized on a goalkeeping error to level 16 minutes from time, his goal coming after Gíslason and Mussis had netted within the space of three minutes early in the second half.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “It has been an excellent trip, capped by an excellent performance with some impressive individual displays.
“We have got some hard work into the lads and it has been a chance to take them away where there have been no distractions.
“The facilities and hotel have been first class and we have had everything we have needed, including a very competitive game against top-class opposition.
“My aim in pre-season is always to push the players to try to get as hard a games as possible because I think it is the only way they can stretch themselves and improve during what is a relatively short period.
“The quality of the work in training has been excellent and the game was played at a fairly high intensity so, in that sense, we will leave Austria very happy. I have been really pleased with the application of the players and their attitude to the demands placed upon them.”
Howe confirmed Camp had been left out due to a thigh strain and said Stanislas had been rested after missing a couple of days’ training since the start of pre-season.
“The main aim of pre-season is to try to keep people fit and prevent injuries,” said Howe. “There is no need to risk anybody unless they are 100 per cent. We had enough players to fill two teams without them.”
Discussing striker Bingham, who joined Cherries following his release by Wigan, Howe said: “He has shown good athleticism and technique. He has a good attitude and has fitted in well with the group. We wanted to have a closer look at him and he performed well.”
Cherries first half: Buchel, Smith, Elphick, Cargill, Harte, Gosling, Arter, Pugh, Ritchie, Kermorgant, Wilson.
Cherries second half: Flahavan, Francis, Cook, MacDonald, Daniels, Fraser, O’Kane, Pitman, McQuoid, Rantie, Bingham.