by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admitted his disappointment at Cherries’ recent downturn in form – but emphasised the importance of focusing on the positives before tomorrow’s showdown with Huddersfield.
After recording its finest ever start to a Premier League campaign, the Dorset side’s form has faltered in recent weeks, culminating in a 3-1 defeat at reigning champions Manchester City at the weekend.
Despite Callum Wilson’s soaring first-half header, the Citizens comfortably breezed to victory after goals from Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan condemned Cherries to a fourth consecutive league defeat.
But boss Howe said he was fixating on the positive elements of Cherries’ recent run before his side take on Huddersfield under the lights: “Of course, four defeats doesn’t sit well with any of us at the club. I think throughout a season you’re always going to have those moments, unfortunately, in the Premier League and we’ve had them every season.
“Usually they’ve coincided with a tough fixture list, that’s just the reality of the division and I think that’s what’s happened this time. The Newcastle game, for us, would be the big frustration because we didn’t get the performance or the result, but I think in the other three games we’ve been relatively happy with a lot of what’s happened in the match.
“We just haven’t quite been clinical enough, or defended well enough, in the key moments in the game and we’ve ended up losing. But there’s been a lot of positives to take from those games.”
The manager also urged his players to prove confidence is still high, and called for supporters to raise the roof at Vitality Stadium tomorrow evening: “I think it’s important that the players don’t lose confidence in any way. Things change very quickly in football both ways and I think collectively the spirit is still very good. Tomorrow night’s game is going to be massive for us in the respect that we need to show our confidence levels haven’t dipped in any way.
“I think it’s vitally important, from the whole football club’s perspective, that everyone in the stadium unites behind the team. Usually evening games here have a great atmosphere, and we’re going to need that more than ever in this match.”
Huddersfield travel to the south coast after stabilising a rocky start to the season, although a three-game unbeaten streak was dashed in a home defeat to fellow strugglers Brighton at the weekend.
When questioned about the Terriers’ threat, Howe said: “I think early season they were competitive in games. I’ve seen a lot of their matches and I thought that they’d performed well but didn’t get the results.
“Naturally when you don’t win and get the results, then it can be difficult to turn your season around. They’ve had an upturn in form in recent weeks, with some good performances, and we know that every game in the Premier League is so different and difficult.”