Eddie Howe and Gary Monk both gave their reflections on AFC Bournemouth’s 3-1 win in the Carabao Cup.
An impressive display from the home side saw Bournemouth reach the quarter-finals for the second time in four years. Speaking afterwards, Eddie Howe said he believed his team was “returning to its best”. A brilliant free-flowing move ended in Callum Wilson setting up Benik Afobe for the third goal.
Indeed, much of Bournemouth’s play was reminiscent of recent seasons under Howe, with Wilson playing a key role. In his first match since January, the attacker looked sharp and hungry for goals. Howe praised Wilson’s “physical excellence”, considering his injury absence.
It was Jack Simpson, however, who grabbed the man of the match award. The debutant defender scored one and was awarded a penalty for another as he made a memorable impact on the game. Being just 20 years old, Howe was quick to praise Simpson’s “mentality”. In addition, Howe stated it was a “night to remember” for Simpson, who is a product of the clubs academy.
When asked about Bournemouth’s chances of silverware, Howe was very pragmatic about the prospect. “Its the last eight, you don’t know what can happen, obviously a lot will depend on the draw, but we’re excited to be there.”
Middlesborough manager Gark Monk believed his side “more than matched” Bournemouth for much of the game. Monk credited the travelling away fans and stated he wanted his team to show them “what they are capable of”. However it wasn’t to be for Monk and his men. Pressure continues to surround the former Swansea boss as his side lie 13th in the Championship.
Both sides are back in action on the weekend as Bournemouth host Chelsea, while Middlesborough face Reading away. The draw for the Carabao Cup quarter-final will take place on Thursday at 4pm.