CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe insisted he would never make excuses for his players.

His comments came following reports some members of the Leicester squad had been upset at the club’s decision to travel by coach instead of flying to Vitality Stadium.

Sky Sports News this week claimed a number of players had voiced their concerns to boss Claude Puel ahead of their trip to Dorset seven days ago.

The 170-mile journey on Friday afternoon took more than five hours with the team coach having to battle through rush-hour traffic en route to Bournemouth.

Puel’s men found themselves 3-0 down after just 41 minutes against Cherries and went on to lose the Premier League clash 4-2, their heaviest defeat since April.

Both Puel and defender Harry Maguire have subsequently questioned the accuracy of the story, with the Foxes manager saying his squad did not have a problem with taking a coach.

Puel added that City’s method of transport had not affected their performance and said it had had no bearing on the defeat.

At the end of last season, Southampton were annoyed when preparations for a crucial relegation showdown with Swansea were affected after they had a hotel reservation cancelled at the last minute.

The squad had to stay at a different hotel near Cardiff, leaving them with an hour's drive to the Liberty Stadium ahead of the match.

Put to him by the Daily Echo that stories of players being upset at having to travel by coach were an insult to supporters, Howe replied: “It’s very difficult to draw huge conclusions as there may be no substance to them.

“When I was playing for Bournemouth and travelling, sometimes you would be on a coach for 10 or 11 hours. I have to be honest, I used to get to away games feeling very tired.

“I have never been a good traveller but it was the only way. You get on with it and don’t use it as an excuse for how you perform because, for me, then you are just going to make excuses for the week after and the week after that so you have to be mentally very strong.

“We are very lucky in the modern day that we are able to fly to almost anywhere we want. That preparation gives players the best chance to perform which is what it is all about at this level.

“With the pressure, intensity and expectation on players, it is really important they arrive in the best physical condition.”

And with Cherries fans preparing for a possible 16-hour round trip to Burnley tomorrow, Howe added: “Supporters’ efforts in away games when you follow a team like Bournemouth are extreme because every journey you undertake is a long one.

“With that comes the financial expense and the time spent. It is a huge financial cost and a huge cost to personal lives where people are away from their families for a period of time.

“I always look at it as being hugely important for us to return that by giving our best effort in the game and that is the minimum we should expect at all times.”