BOSS Eddie Howe saluted a “massive 20 minutes” from his Cherries players – after admitting they “weren’t very good” for the first 70.

A stirring late comeback earned Cherries a 2-2 draw against Newcastle with Adam Smith and Dan Gosling both netting in the final 10 minutes.

Their goals cancelled out Dwight Gayle’s first-half double, leaving Cherries facing the prospect of suffering back-to-back defeats.

Howe said: “We weren’t very good for 70 minutes but, once again, I have to praise the character, attitude and spirit in the team to come back because it’s not easy at this level.

“You really need everyone to be focused and not to sulk or feel sorry for yourself.

“I always believe it’s possible because we are good enough no matter what the situation is.

“I thought it was going to be difficult for us to find two goals due to a lack of opportunities and goalmouth action.

“It didn’t look like we were going to find a way to open them up. But the substitutes made a big difference, we changed system and, suddenly, the game looked different.

“For the last 20 minutes, we were able to really turn the screw and pen them in their own half, which was what we had wanted to do earlier.

“Defeat by Huddersfield and Newcastle would have left us in a difficult position so it was a massive 20 minutes for us and full credit to the players for delivering what they did.”