Jermain Defoe is set to lead the line up front as AFC Bournemouth search for their first competitive victory of the new season tonight away to Birmingham City in the Carabao Cup second round.
The England striker has been resigned to cameo appearances from the bench, following his free transfer from Sunderland but will start tonight at St Andrews.
Second half goals from Richarlison and Etienne Capoue saw off Eddie Howe’s men and left the Bournemouth boss scratching his head.
“The whole game we were off.” Howe explained to the media in his post-match press conference. “We fell well below our normal standards and it’s incredibly frustrating for me and the players as well, we all know we are better than that. “It’s not a true representation of our ability.”
However, Howe was quick to quash fears of concern this early in the season and insisted that his team will get back on track.
“I can’t remember two games lacking in opportunities for us. “We need to work on things, my position is not to panic and not to over react. I have no doubt we’re good enough but we need to show that in games.”
Bournemouth will be favourites to seal their place in the third round when they travel to The Midlands to face Championship opposition tonight at St Andrews, but will face a familiar face in the dugout.
Former Cherries boss Harry Redknapp, who had in total, three spells at The Vitality Stadium as player and manager, will be intent on his Birmingham side causing a shock upset and might give starts to new signings Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Brammal, who were both signed on loan from Arsenal yesterday, along with Sam Gallagher who joined from Southampton.
A win for the South Coast side could spring a catalyst for improvement and bring much needed confidence ahead of tough fixtures against Manchester City at the Vitality on Saturday followed by a trip to North London to face Arsenal.