Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was hugely disappointed by the manner in which his side lost to Sheffield United.
Eddie Howe said: “For the first part of the game we were excellent. The two goals we conceded were hugely disappointing. Maybe we lost concentration momentarily and it cost us the match. Generally I thought we did well. We had to battle and scrap but it wasn’t to be. In both halves we sat in and were good in our structures. When we get the lead in these types of games we need to defend better.It takes all the polish off. There were a lot of good bits but not enough to get a result today and we needed it away from home. It was a tight game, a tough game. You wouldn’t believe we were at the wrong end table early in game. I was disappointed from that moment onwards that we weren’t able to recover after they equalised. It’s not a great position to be in from our perspective. We have some big games and we need some big performances. It’s tough when you are not producing results you want but its a challenge I relish.”
The result leaves Bournemouth in 16th, two points above the relegation zone, with the Cherries still needing to play Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City before the end of the season.
Matt Butcher hoping to ‘get a chance’ on his return to AFC Bournemouth. The midfielder, who joined St Johnstone on loan on transfer deadline day last month, has not featured for Cherries’ first-team in a competitive game since a 2-1 FA Cup win over Birmingham in 2016.
Matt Butcher said “My lateral knee ligament was torn off the bone after getting through all the pre-season, just when we had been talking about going out on loan. The recovery went as well as it could have done. It wasn’t the best time of my career. It took under five months to get back but there were no hiccups. I’d been hoping to get a chance at Bournemouth this year but I haven’t played a lot of football in the last couple of seasons. I’ve still got a year on my contract so that will be the aim going back.”
The 22-year-old made his debut for St Johnstone in their Scottish Premiership draw against Hearts and he hopes he can impress enough to force his way into Eddie Howe’s thoughts in the summer.
Eddie Howe believes Ryan Fraser can close out the season in his best match-winning form to spur Bournemouth’s Premier League survival fight. Fraser is out of contract in the summer and likely to end his seven-year stint on the south coast, and the 25-year-old recently admitted his long-term future had affected his short-term focus.
Eddie Howe said ” If he plays like he did against Aston Villa – and Brighton because I think he committed to both games like that – I think we have a potential match-winner in the team. He’s a very important player for us and I’ve been very, very pleased with him of late. On Ryan Fraser’s public conversation about his future, that’s totally down to the individual. As long as they say nothing that harms the team.”
Howe admitted warning his players that any relief at their two wins must be dispatched as the Cherries still face a relegation slugfest for the remainder of the campaign.
Premier League’s youngest first-choice goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has gone from misfit to mainstay at Bournemouth in the space of a year.
Aaron Ramsdale said “It is quite hard to sum up. Eighteen months ago I was nowhere near the team here. I was probably annoying a lot of people, especially the manager and the goalie coaches because I wasn’t fulfilling my potential. I’d come in one day and I’d be good and the next day I’d come in and look like I’d been dragged through a bush. I did a lot of growing up on loan, personally and mentally, which has helped me adapt to life in the Premier League. My advice to any young player is to try and go to these places because they make you a better person and not just a better footballer. What those six months have done for me, it was a major part in my career.”
The 21-year-old, the youngest first-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League, is an endearing and jovial character. It is a marker of his personality that last month, when forced to miss his first league game of the season through injury, he joined fans in the Steve Fletcher Stand to cheer on his teammates against Watford.
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