Saturday 22 July 2017

King crowns Cherries' record season

Bournemouth 2 Burnley 1

Eddie Howe has led Bournemouth to another impressive season. Photo: PA News
Eddie Howe has led Bournemouth to another impressive season. Photo: PA News
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eddie Howe refused to label Bournemouth as an established Premier League club after a 2-1 win over Burnley saw them guarantee their a record points tally in a top-flight season.

Junior Stanislas gave the hosts the lead in the first half but Sam Vokes looked to have stolen a point which would have mathematically secured Burnley's Premier League safety when he headed the Clarets level with seven minutes remaining.

Bournemouth's Joshua King with his family during a lap of honour after the match. Photo: Reuters
Bournemouth's Joshua King with his family during a lap of honour after the match. Photo: Reuters

Josh King's 16th league goal of the campaign soon followed though and fired Howe's men into the top 10.

Having flirted with relegation in their maiden season in the top-flight last year, the Cherries have proven the sceptics wrong again.

Howe, however, is not looking too far ahead and believes his side are still a work in progress.

"I'm not going to use those words, I think it's a very dangerous thing to say," Howe said of the suggestion Bournemouth are now established in the elite.

Burnley ensured their own Premier League safety last weekend against West Brom. Photo: Stock image
Burnley ensured their own Premier League safety last weekend against West Brom. Photo: Stock image

"I'm very level-headed, I believe in the players so much, I believe we're capable of great things but we still have to prove that.

"I think the next stage for the club is to improve the stadium, the training ground, the academy, to try and improve things that are so important to the lifeblood of the football club."

Another positive from this season is the soaring form of striker King.

Late goals against the likes of Sunderland and Liverpool and a hat-trick against West Ham have illustrated the vast improvement in the Norway international's fitness since his arrival from Blackburn Rovers two years ago, something which Howe acknowledged.

Howe added: "I think it's testament to the boy's fitness levels. With the way that we play, and what we ask from our players, especially our front players, for him to have scored those late goals, that's one big thing he has improved from when he first joined - his fitness levels.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt his side were below their best because some felt the pressure was off after hitting the 40-point mark with a 2-2 draw against West Brom last week, to all but secure their safety.

Dyche said: "To get to that 40-point mark, there was a big sigh of relief, the tension was building. So there was a bit of flatness from the players, I'm disappointed in the end but with the season we've had, it's hard to question this group."

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport