Sport Soccer

Thursday 8 December 2016

Howe lavishes praise on Wilson

Published 22/08/2015 | 18:43

Callum Wilson, second left, put West Ham to the sword
Callum Wilson, second left, put West Ham to the sword

Eddie Howe singled out hat-trick hero Callum Wilson following Bournemouth's first-ever Premier League victory.

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The 23-year-old former non-league striker scored three goals in an entertaining 4-3 victory at West Ham - who were again reduced to 10 men.

Wilson scored twice before half-time following two errors from Aaron Cresswell to seemingly put the Cherries in control, only for the hosts to hit back early after the break.

Mark Noble was brought down and dusted himself off to slot home the resulting penalty before Cheikhou Kouyate levelled the game seven minutes later.

There was plenty more drama to come as substitute Marc Pugh curled home a well-taken third before Wilson completed his hat-trick from the spot after Carl Jenkinson had been sent off for pulling back the impressive Max Gradel. Modibo Maiga got a home third but Howe's men survived.

There were plenty of good performances for the visitors but Howe was happy to sing the praises of Wilson, who penned a new deal at the Vitality Stadium before the start of their maiden Premier League campaign.

"I don't mind singling Callum out on the back of a hat-trick," said Howe.

"He was a menace today with his pace. All strikers need goals and it has been a really good afternoon for him.

"The pleasing thing from his perspective is he was clinical. We were dominant, created numerous chances. Pugh's goal is key, a fantastic finish. Callum is a huge part of what we are doing. Callum is not going anywhere"

Howe insisted he never doubted his side could go on to win having let a two-goal lead slip and, after opening the season with closely-fought defeats to Aston Villa and Liverpool, he was pleased to get an early win under his belt.

"It was bizarre because I didn't think the game had changed, we just gave away some terrible goals," he added.

"But I still felt confident we could get control again. Thankfully the players had the belief. It means everything. you don't want to be waiting too long (for a win). It was only two games but I am sure there were doubters out there who thought we were finished."

For all of Bournemouth's joy, West Ham faltered for a second consecutive week at home having also lost 2-1 to Leicester the previous Saturday.

Back-to-back defeats mean the victory at Arsenal on the opening weekend seems a long way off, but manager Slaven Bilic said his players may have still been thinking they were good enough to beat anyone after impressing against the Gunners.

"To me it was gone straight after the game against Arsenal," he said when asked about the positivity gleaned from that success.

"Straight after the game I tried to calm things down, it was a great game of course. Maybe after that game we started to think individually like, 'that is enough for us on the pitch', but the fact is we lost the game, I don't like this position.

"It is not time for alarms, I don't like the approach that it is still early days, I have to change it. We had that togetherness, that brotherhood (at Arsenal)

"First half against Leicester and Bournemouth it was not unit work or team work and then it is hard for everybody."

Although admitting his side were culpable of making errors in defence, Bilic was also quick to praise the display of the visitors.

"You can say that but it wasn't just that," he said about mistakes costing his side.

"I congratulate Bournemouth, they deserve it, they were good. Bournemouth scored goals - for every goal you have to give credit to the opponent. First,second goal and fourth goal - the ball was at our feet, it was our ball, it wasn't them making a move.

"If you do those kinds of mistakes, individual errors in front of your own goal, the outcome is going to be defeat."

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