Wednesday 21 March 2018

Hughes praises smart Stoke

Bournemouth 1-3 Stoke City

Stoke's Ibrahim Afellay celebrates scoring his team's second goal. Photo: Getty
Stoke's Ibrahim Afellay celebrates scoring his team's second goal. Photo: Getty
Jonathan Walters of Stoke City is challenged by Simon Francis. Photo: Getty
(3rd L) Joselu of Stoke City heads the ball to score his team's third goal. Photo: Getty

Helen Rowe-Wilcocks

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe rued his side's lack of cutting edge after their loss to Stoke on Saturday. Goals from Giannelli Imbula, Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu saw Stoke storm ahead, and although Matt Ritchie pulled a goal back Bournemouth did not show the sort of quality needed to get back into the match.

"They were quite compact and deep and they were very respectful of how we played and the first moments of the game I was expecting us to have a really good afternoon but the goal seemed to change the game," said Howe. "I think the quality of their goals was really high and their first goal was a great strike, their third goal was very well worked but their second goal was the one I think we are really disappointed with. From our perspective we got caught on the counter. We had our moments and we didn't take them."

Stoke had lost their last three Premier League games but Howe knew they were going to come to the Vitality Stadium fired up. "You look at the quality of the Stoke team, they are a very strong team and I think that was highlighted by the quality of their goals."

A fire alarm cut short Stoke manager Mark Hughes' post-match press conference but he had enough time to express his happiness with the performance before joining the evacuation.

"It was a really pleasing away performance, we came here with a good game plan," said Hughes. "We were prepared to allow Bournemouth to come on to us a little bit. We conceded a bit of possession today, but we felt we could get good opportunities on the break today. With the personnel that we have got we could cause Bournemouth a problem."

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