Written by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admitted his disappointment after his side failed to cap off a stellar first-half showing with more goals against Manchester United yesterday.
Callum Wilson had fired Cherries into the lead on 11 minutes, and further chances were squandered by Ryan Fraser, Junior Stanislas the hosts’ goalscorer to bury Jose Mourinho’s rattled outfit.
But after the restart, it was United who emerged the stronger side – and the in-form Anthony Martial’s leveller and a stoppage time winner from Marcus Rashford was enough to steal maximum points for the visitors at the death.
When questioned about the harsh result, Howe explained: “It was a tough one for us today. I thought a lot of the aspects of our play was really good today, especially during that opening period. We passed the ball well with a really good intensity to our play, we created a number of chances.
“We were disappointed at half time because we weren’t winning, in terms of our performance we probably deserved to be leading by more than one.
“We knew the second half was going to be a difficult game, they changed things, made some good substitutions and the game was different. But I’m very pleased with the players’ attitudes to the game, and they gave everything in the match.”
Cherries’ manager continued to heap praise on his high-flying side, after voicing his belief that the Dorset club’s first-half performance was “one of the best we’ve seen in the Premier League since we were promoted”.
The introductions of Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Rashford changed the complexion of the clash in the visitors’ favour, but Howe stressed that Cherries’ substitutions could also have had a similar impact.
He said: “You see the team sheet before the game, you know they’ve got the capability if they need to – they can bring on players that can make a difference. But I believe we have the capability to do the same.
“I think the momentum of the game had changed at that stage, they’d changed things tactically and we were struggling to deal with that at that moment in the game. We still had a couple of chances on the counter attack to score, so it was nip and tuck.
“I think there was always a feeling that there was another goal in the game, it’s just unfortunate it wasn’t for us.”
The manager also commended ex-Coventry ace Wilson, amid rumours the striker may be named in Gareth Southgate’s next England squad.
“I think that Callum’s (Wilson) been unbelievable to work with since he’s come to this football club, he’s continued to score goals and again he was a real threat during that first half when we were on top. He was a nuisance with his pace and strength, and took his goal really well. (It was) another really good performance from him.”