AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believed that yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium was a fair result given the close nature of the contest.
Albion twice took the lead at the start of either half against the Cherries, and the visiting boss was pleased with how his side responded twice in an entertaining clash to start 2018 on the south coast.
He said, “It was tight, a tough game and the two teams were really going for the win. We made it difficult for ourselves by conceding early in both halves and whenever you do that you’re chasing the game.
“At this level, you have to commit bodies forward. We did that and, at the end of the game, we were going for the win.
“We showed a lot of quality going forward so there are good signs in terms of our mental approach, but we’re just disappointed in how we conceded the two goals.”
Anthony Knockaert scored the Premier League’s first goal of the calendar year, before Glenn Murray also netted for the home side minutes after the restart. The opposition boss was disappointed with the nature and timing of the goals his side conceded.
“When you look at our team, we’re attacking and we wanted to take the game to the opponent today. I felt we did that, but we got caught cold in both halves.
“We didn’t defend the two situations very well and we had to come back and show the character and spirit that we’ve still got and shown in recent weeks. When you look at both the West Ham game and the Everton game, we’ve been tested in both and come out the other side.”
The second leveler for the Cherries came through striker Callum Wilson 11 minutes from time, and Howe singled out both the forward and midfielder Jordon Ibe for praise after the stalemate on Monday lunchtime.
“The pleasing thing with Callum is that he’s played two games in three days. He’s been able to go a long distance in both games and he’s looked physically very good and I thought he looked stronger as the game went on.
“He got his reward, stayed on the pitch and got the goal. Although it was a scrappy one, it’s an important one for us.
“I thought Jordon [Ibe] was also excellent. He was a real threat and he drifted across the pitch with the ball and without the ball.
“He was difficult to mark from their perspective and showed great technical ability with the ball in tight areas. It was one of his best displays for us again and he’s improving with every match.”