Sunday 24 February 2019

Eddie Howe not willing to criticise referee over penalty decision

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe kept his emotions in check
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe kept his emotions in check

Eddie Howe revealed his "sympathy" for referee Graham Scott despite him missing the penalty decision that potentially cost Bournemouth victory at home to Leicester.

The hosts convincingly outplayed their visitors but repeatedly wasted the numerous chances from which they should have scored.

In only the third minute, Danny Simpson's outstretched hand tipped Marc Pugh's goal-bound shot wide when goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was out of position, but with his vision obscured, Scott allowed play to continue.

Bournemouth refused to be disheartened by the injustice and created sufficient chances to secure a one-sided victory, but their wastefulness in front of goal ultimately means they remain in the Premier League's bottom three.

"I can't be clever: I've got sympathy for him because I didn't see it at the time," said the manager, whose team remain 19th.

"It was on the opposite side of the pitch to me The only thing I saw was Marc Pugh's reaction and knowing the player as I do, that gave me a sign that there was something.

"It's only when you see it again, slowed down, that you see it's a clear-cut penalty, but that's not the reason we didn't win. It's very much in our hands and we didn't take those chances when they came.

"We started really well and did well to maintain that throughout most of the game: created a number of clear-cut chances.

"I'm very pleased with the team's performance, very pleased with the team's defensive shape. A first clean sheet of the season is a big moment for us so I have to cling to those positives but we're desperately disappointed not to win.

"The challenge for us, as every chance went by, you've got to make sure you don't concede, and players like Jamie Vardy, and Riyad Mahrez, you worry one moment of quality from them can swing it. We dealt with that very well, so that's why it's not doom and gloom for us. It's a positive day, a very good performance, and if we continue to hit those levels we'll be fine."

Howe's opposite number Craig Shakespeare refused to say that Bournemouth had deserved a penalty from the incident, but after acknowledging Leicester had performed poorly, stressed the importance of the coming international football break.

"We had that happen to us last week: people tell you it evens out but I don't know if it does," he said.

"It was a hard call, it happened really quickly, there was not much movement from Danny's arm. The referee made a quick decision and didn't give a penalty.

"It was a hard earned point. Bournemouth started really well, we struggled to get the pace of the game and the momentum was with Bournemouth. We had to show a lot off resilience, defending in numbers. We couldn't get our passing game going: I have to be happy with a point.

"We've taken five points from Brighton, Huddersfield and Bournemouth, we've had a real tough start in terms of playing top teams. We've got a chance now to regroup and really try bring some momentum to our season."

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