Sunday 4 December 2016

Eddie Howe sees Bournemouth's lack of cutting edge exposed by ruthless Stoke

Published 13/02/2016 | 19:01

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth could not take their chances against Stoke
Eddie Howe's Bournemouth could not take their chances against Stoke

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe rued his side's lack of cutting edge after their 3-1 loss to Stoke on Saturday.

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Goals from Giannelli Imbula, Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu saw Stoke storm ahead, and although Matt Ritchie pulled a goal back Bournemouth did not show the sort of quality needed to get back into the match.

Howe said: "They were quite compact and deep and I thought they were very respectful of how we played and the first moments of the game I was expecting us to have a really good afternoon but the goal seemed to change the game.

"I think the quality of their goals was really high and their first goal was a great strike, their third goal was very well worked but their second goal was the one I think we are really disappointed with.

"From our perspective we got caught on the counter. We had our moments and we didn't take them."

He added: "I felt we were a lot more positive in the second half despite the fact we conceded those two goals but we did create chances - Benik (Afobe) with his volley, (Joshua) King's chance right at the beginning of the half, several crosses across the box, Junior's (Stanislas) chance back post.

"We had some really good chances we did not take."

Stoke had lost their last three Premier League games but Howe knew they were going to come to the Vitality Stadium fired up.

"I think it is very easy to go a few games in this league without winning and people then question everything regarding your club," he said.

"You look at the quality of the Stoke team, they were missing a few key players, but they still have good players.

"They are a very strong team and I think that was highlighted by the quality of their goals."

A fire alarm cut short Stoke manager Mark Hughes' post-match press conference but he had enough time to express his happiness with the performance before joining the evacuation.

He said: "It was a really pleasing away performance, we came here with a good game plan.

"We were prepared to allow Bournemouth to come on to us a little bit.

"We conceded a bit of possession today, more than we usually do but we felt we could get good opportunities on the break today. With the personnel that we have got we could cause Bournemouth a problem."

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