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Sunday 4 December 2016

Eddie Howe weighs up Dan Gosling inclusion after EFL Cup performance

Published 23/09/2016 | 13:26

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe welcomes Everton to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe welcomes Everton to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has a tough decision to make in midfield as his side welcome Everton to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

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Dan Gosling, who has not started in the Premier League yet this season, scored in the 3-2 loss to Preston on Tuesday in the EFL Cup and is in contention for a place in the starting XI.

Howe apologised to the fans after the performance against the Sky Bet Championship side. He had made 11 changes from the side which was beaten 4-0 by Manchester City last weekend.

It is very likely that most if not all of those rested in midweek may return against the Toffees, but Gosling was one who particularly gave Howe food for thought.

Howe said: "Dan showed a terrific attitude and one huge positive to come from the game was his performance.

"He was energetic, showed good technical quality and scored a good goal. He kept running throughout the 120 minutes.

"He never slowed for a second, so I thought he was very impressive."

Gosling, who joined the Cherries on a free transfer from Newcastle in the summer of 2014, started 28 of Bournemouth's 38 games in their first season in the Premier League and came on as a substitute in a further six.

"He would recognise there is a real battle for places and he had a huge role for us last season," Howe added.

"He didn't play in every game but he had a huge part to play in our season.

"I think that will be the same this season. He is a very important player. He brings an energy and work rate to the midfield which we will need.

"He's a very dependable character, a very good personality and a very positive person. He has been excellent since he's been out of the team in terms of his mindset."

The Cherries face Everton for the first time since Ronald Koeman, the former Southampton manager, took over at the club in June.

Bournemouth drew 3-3 at home to the Toffees and lost 2-1 at Goodison Park last season and Howe believes the Everton team he will encounter on Saturday is at least as good as the 2015-16 model, if not even better.

He said: " They have added a little bit more pace and they have goalscorers in their team.

"We expect a really tough game but I think we had two really tough games last season."

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