Written by Harvey Camp (@harveycampjourn)
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe labelled his side’s home loss to Fulham as a “difficult one to work out” as Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty was enough to sink the Cherries at the Vitality.
Speaking after the game, Howe credited his side for the start they made to the game but questioned his side’s ability to be clinical on a consistent basis.
Howe said: “I thought it was going to be a really good day for us. We were sharp with the ball, we created opportunities and I think that’s the thing we have to look at today, the amount of presentable opportunities we had.”
Bournemouth were dealt a blow at the back in the warm up as right back Adam Smith was forced to pull out of the starting eleven after picking up a knock, prompting Howe to replace him with winger Junior Stanislas.
Stanislas also received an injury just 21 minutes into the contest, leaving the Cherries with increasing injury problems at the tail end of the season.
Commenting on this, Howe described the situation as “difficult for the team”.
“Junior’s not necessarily a natural right back, but he’s played the position and done it very well. He uses the ball superbly and has the athletic ability to go box to box.”
“We were left with four centre backs across our back line, which is something we would never normally line up with. So that was a difficult one for us to overcome.”
Bournemouth now lie ten points clear of Cardiff in 12th place and despite survival looking imminent, could have massively boosted their chances with three points today.
Howe looked at the penalty as a killer for his side’s tempo, who couldn’t find a way back post penalty conversion.
“We never fully got our rhythm back in the match. And we just hope the injuries aren’t serious.”
Left for the Cherries is an away visit to local rivals Southampton next weekend at St Mary’s, followed by a home match against Tottenham and a final day trip to the capital to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.