by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Boss Eddie Howe admitted he was disappointed in his side’s performance, after the Cherries’ 2-1 defeat to Southampton in a crucial south coast showdown.
Bournemouth fell to 12th place in the Premier League standings after the defeat, the third consecutive Premier League game the Cherries have failed to gain any points in.
And Howe made his dismay with the Cherries’ performance at St Mary’s clear: “I think it’s difficult to say what we deserved today. Overall, I’m disappointed with the performance.
“For a footballing team, I thought we gave the ball away cheaply today so it was difficult to get the control we wanted from there. The game was there for us to exert more influence on, but we were wasteful with the ball and that was our biggest downfall. ”
Saints had deservedly taken the lead on 25 minutes when a lightening break away resulted in Dusan Tadic calmly sweeping past Asmir Begovic, before the Cherries grabbed an equaliser firmly against the run of play when Josh King stabbed into the roof of the net, following Steve Cook’s clever flick-on from a corner.
But Mark Hughes’ side would not be denied all three points in a pivotal fixture for Saints, who grabbed the winner eight minutes after half time, Tadic once again beating Begovic with a superb, arrowing drive into the far corner.
Both goals came as a result of individual mistakes from the visitors – Lewis Cook gifted possession to Saints for the opener, before Steve Cook’s poor control shortly after the interval helped release Tadic for his brace.
“The spirit is there and the will to do well is there,” Howe admitted. “But we complicated the game and made too many individual mistakes, which I think were optimised by the goals we conceded.”
“I think the two decisions on the edge of the box cost us in that respect. We have been vulnerable on the break in recent weeks, so that’s something that we need to go and reflect on.”
The Cherries’ tendency to score at crucial times continued, with King’s equaliser on the stroke of half time forcing a stalemate at the break, but Howe admitted that simple errors from his side allowed the points to slip away.
“The platform was there to win the game from that point, but we made bad decisions individually today, so we lost the control of the match that I thought we had.
“We conceded the second goal and they then had something to defend and hold on to.”
Howe’s side piled on the pressure in the latter stages of the game but were denied by a series of superb saves from Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, the shot stopper superbly palmed over a last gasp Ryan Fraser strike to preserve the relegation-threatened home side’s lead – and condemn Bournemouth to another disappointing defeat on the road.