Sunday 17 December 2017

Harry Arter's miss puts Eddie Howe on the spot as derby ends in a draw

Bournemouth's Harry Arter slipped as he went to take his missed penalty at Southampton
Bournemouth's Harry Arter slipped as he went to take his missed penalty at Southampton

Eddie Howe refused to criticise Harry Arter for missing the late penalty which cost Bournemouth victory at Southampton - but said he would have to consider who takes their next.

The south coast derby ended 0-0 at St Mary's after Arter slipped during his run-up and struck embarrassingly over the crossbar, as David Beckham did for England against Portugal at Euro 2004.

Tottenham's Harry Kane did similarly earlier this season from the same penalty spot, but a bigger concern for Howe is that his team have not scored from their past three penalties.

Howe said: "I don't know where we go next with our penalty taker. We'll have to think about it and see.

"It's obvious he slipped, it's one of those things. No one goes there to miss. I have to respect that people put themselves up for it, because it's a difficult role.

"Josh King would have taken it: he goes off, you get the penalty, and Harry takes it. You would ideally think a player shouldn't slip taking a penalty but it's a high-pressure situation and these things happen.

"More pleasing is the fact we're creating those opportunities."

Adam Smith also struck the post during their improved second-half performance, and asked if he felt his team deserved all three points, Howe responded: "Definitely second half, we were excellent in the closing stages.

"We really dominated that last 25 minutes, and created some outstanding opportunities. On another day we'd have scored two or three. It took us until half an hour into the first half to get a foothold.

"(Andrew Surman) twisted his knee in attempting to score from the corner in the first half. We felt he could be good enough second half to go out and perform but he said straight away he was struggling.

"His knee's in a brace now so it looks like he'll be out for a period of time.

"We do have some tough games to come. It was important we got something; it edges us closer to where we want to be."

The result left Bournemouth, who are unbeaten in four without conceding during their past two games, in 11th and level on 34 points with 10th-placed Southampton.

Ryan Bertrand was unfortunate to be penalised when referee Jonathan Moss awarded Ryan Fraser the visitors' 79th minute penalty when minimal contact was made off the ball, but Southampton's manager Claude Puel was more concerned about his team's performance.

"It is a little disappointing to just take one point at home but it is a fair result," said the Frenchman. "We could have won, we could have lost.

"Some of our players looked a little bit tired after the international break. We had 15 players away. It's not an excuse but it's difficult."

He had spoken to Dusan Tadic earlier this week after the midfielder expressed his frustration at how often he is substituted.

Puel again substituted him late in the second half - he looked to be their best player despite missing two chances to score and improve on Saints' record of two wins from eight games.

"It was interesting, he played a very good first half, he can do the same, it was good and I am happy with his performance," said Puel.

Press Association

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