Thursday 19 April 2018

Eddie Howe hails Bournemouth's strength in depth after seeing off Stoke

Adam Federici was a safe pair of hands at Stoke on Saturday
Adam Federici was a safe pair of hands at Stoke on Saturday

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe hailed his squad's strength in depth after Adam Federici and Nathan Ake both made their first Premier League starts of the season in the win at Stoke.

Federici replaced the injured Artur Boruc in goal and enjoyed an unusually quiet afternoon at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday as the Cherries recorded their first away success of the campaign in the Premier League.

The Australian was only really troubled once when, at the start of the second half, he dived to his right to push away a header from Wilfried Bony.

Ake, on loan from Chelsea, headed the only goal of the game after 26 minutes from a Junior Stanislas free-kick before blocking a goalbound Bony effort at the other end shortly afterwards to preserve his side's lead.

"The goal was great. I didn't think Nathan would reach it but he's got great athletic ability and it was a superb header," said Howe.

"He didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon and his overall performance was pleasing, he put a stamp down and it was great to see.

"It was a difficult game and we stood up to a testing end to the match when we had to deal with an aerial bombardment and Adam (Federici) really helped with that.

"He came in and was superb too, it shows the quality we have in the group. The teams are difficult to pick and the players that came in did themselves no harm, we thoroughly deserved to win. We showed the resilience and mentality you need to win here."

Stoke had the chance to extend their unbeaten run to seven league matches for the first time since December 2012 but Bojan Krkic crashed a penalty against the crossbar after 49 minutes.

Home boss Mark Hughes tried to take some positives from what was in truth a disappointing display and hopes to see his team bounce back at Watford next weekend.

He said: "All in all we are a little frustrated as I feel we deserved a draw from the game - we definitely didn't deserve to lose it in my opinion.

"We didn't take the opportunities we created but the lads showed good energy and tried to make things happen.

"We have to pick ourselves up and go again. It's the end of a good run and it's up to us to go on a similar run again now if we can. It's disappointing but we will bounce back, hopefully at Watford next weekend."

Stoke will be without Joe Allen at Vicarage Road next Sunday as the Wales international midfielder received his fifth yellow card of the season against Bournemouth and must serve a one-match suspension.

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport