Cherries will hope to carry positive Cup effort in to Christmas and New Year

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admitted that there haven’t been many times in his Cherries career that he had felt as he did after last Sunday’s game against Liverpool.

Goals from Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino gave the Reds a 4-0 away win after a disappointing display by the Cherries.

“I think it’s an understatement to say that was a tough one to take,” said Howe. “There’s not been many times as Bournemouth manager that I’ve felt like that after the match.

“I think the performance was down to a combination of things, when you don’t perform well against the top sides it becomes difficult. We didn’t keep the ball well enough, we turned it over too much, it was so disappointing as we wanted to give the supporters and the club more in a high-profile match.”

The Cherries were soon back in action on Wednesday night with a quarter-final game in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Willian opened the scoring in the first-half, before Dan Gosling looked to have taken the game to extra-time, only for Alvaro Morata to slot home with moments remaining.

Despite the 2-1 defeat, Howe admitted his delight at the performance but disappointment with the result, although he did believe that confidence can now be taken into important games over the Christmas and New Year period at home to West Ham United and Everton and away at Brighton.

“It feels heart-breaking to be honest and the players gave everything,” said Howe.

“We didn’t get the best start and they scored a good goal from their perspective. In the second-half we had waves of attack and we scored, but the last part of the game is bitterly disappointing.

“I think we’re experienced enough to know, but it’s just one of those things. The most positive thing is that our players continued to dominate the ball. We leave with a positive mindset.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.