Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe insists he’s not written off Jordon Ibe. The 24-year-old was handed a 16-month driving ban and fined £7,500 on Tuesday for crashing his car into a coffee shop and driving off last July, causing thousands of pounds of damage.
Eddie Howe said “It goes without saying, some of the things that have happened off the pitch certainly haven’t helped him, so we’ll wait and see on that, I’d be foolish if I sat here and said ‘no, he’s played his last game’, and then he ended up playing again. I never shut the door on anybody until they’ve left the club, I don’t think that’s the way to be, but certainly he’s got a long way back from here. I look at it as a challenge, to try and get the best out of every player under my stewardship, and certainly try and learn from every situation that I faced to try and make myself better for the next situation that occurs. I have no doubt about his quality and playing characteristics, but certainly there needs to be a change in Jordon’s life for him to reach the level that he can.”
Ibe, off contract in June, has been absent from the Cherries’ matchday squad for most of this season, being relegated to play with the U21s and restricted to two Premier League appearances this campaign, both coming in August as a substitute.
Eddie Howe insists protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus have had “no impact” on Cherries’ preparations and training so far but also admitted that a prospect of playing behind closed doors is not something he is looking forward to.
Eddie Howe said “I back the Premier League and guidelines they have given us. I don’t think I want to get too technical on that side of things but of course players will be coming up against each other – it’s a physical game. But I think you have to back the protocols in place. Yes there has been measures put in place to stop the flow of people in and around the training ground and the stadium but that doesn’t impact how we prepare for the match. Playing behind closed doors would certainly be not the preferred option for anyone connected in the world of football because the game is all about the atmosphere created by the supporters. But there’s no point thinking about that at this moment. “
Bournemouth had two goals ruled out by the video assistant referee and the defeat left them 16th in the table.
Nathan Ake insists “we can’t just say we keep playing well” as Cherries came away from another encouraging display on the road without any points to show for it on Saturday. Despite receiving praise for the way they competed with the European and world champions at Anfield, Ake knows Cherries must start turning that into points soon with just nine games left to secure safety.
Nathan Ake said “We can’t just say we keep playing well. We have to get points as well. At this stage of the season, if you play like that you need to get something from the game. We can’t just keep saying we did well, went toe-to-toe and stuff like that. In the end we need to try and get the draw I think. From now on we need to win games, 100 per cent. Disappointed. If you lose a match, you’re always disappointed. I think we can take confidence after this game. I think we played really well, but in the end you’re disappointed. I think seasons when we came here before we defended deep but we didn’t really do anything with the ball. I think this season, this game I think every time on the counter we looked a threat. That’s where we scored from as well and I think after that we had a few chances as well. I think we had a few good, clear cut chances to be honest, so I think in the end maybe we deserved something. Obviously they had a lot of the ball. They played well and it’s never easy to come here.”
That result left Cherries in the relegation zone, now on a run of six away defeats in succession since their victory at Chelsea in December.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe described as a “no-brainer” the decision to reappoint Carl Fletcher as the club’s loan manager. Fletcher left the same position at the Dorset club in October last year to become the first-team manager of Leyton Orient. But less than a month into the job with the League Two outfit, he was sacked after no wins in five games.
Eddie Howe said “He’s the best man to reappoint because he was doing a brilliant job for us in that role before. We obviously lost him and wished him well in his new role. We were trying to recruit someone to fill that position. Unfortunately for Carl, he quickly lost his job and it was a no-brainer for us because you had someone who already had the experience, the knowledge and bringing someone else in you’d possibly have to train them to get that. He’s a great fit for us, he’s doing really good work with the players there so we’re very happy with him. think he’ll probably need some time to digest what happened and get his head around it. But I think the beauty of it is he’s got work to do for us and it’s such an all-consuming job, as every job really is within the football club, that he’s not going to have too much time to think. We did speak to Carl just to make sure that he was committed to us and to the role. We don’t want to be making changes in that position. We see it as a long-term role and we’re looking for stability there and he gave us the assurances we wanted. Look, you can never tell what’s going to happen in life, but at this moment in time he’s very focused on doing that job for the foreseeable future.”
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