Eddie Howe delighted with character of his team following Defoe rescue mission at Watford

Eddie Howe delighted with character of his team following Defoe rescue mission at Watford

Speaking after his team's 2-2 draw with Watford, the Bournemouth manager hailed his team's attitude.

Matt Dawson

Jermain Defoe rescued a late point for Bournemouth as the Cherries drew 2-2 with Watford at Vicarage Road.

Kiko Femenia opened the scoring for the hosts before Josh King scored from the penalty spot. Roberto Pereyra then put the Hornets back in front but Defoe popped up in injury time as he salvaged a vital point for Eddie Howe's side. 

Character shines through

It perhaps would have been harsh on Bournemouth had they not taken anything from the game. Nathan Ake struck the bar in the opening minute whilst they also had plenty of other first half chances.

Their second half performance wasn't as convincing, but Defoe's late goal could be a big one in the context of the Cherries season. Howe said: "It was a massive goal from Jermain and a massive point for us. It didn't look like it was going to happen to be honest during the second half.

"The character shone out from the players - that never say die attitude and we only needed one chance and thankfully it fell to the right person.

Defoe hasn't started a game since the 17th December but that goal could provoke a return to the starting line-up following an injury and Callum Wilson's recent form. Howe commented: "He picked up a serious injury in a time when he was playing regular football for us and I think it takes players time to get back to their best levels after injuries like that.

"He's a massive part of what we're doing. He showed that there's no one else you want that ball falling to in that moment. I thought he took it really well." 

Cherries hard done by

Watford may feel that having conceded a penalty and a goal in injury time that they would be the ones ruing certain moments in the game. Howe feels as though that is the opposite. "Watford are making a lot of noises to say that they feel hard done by the referee but I actually think it's us," he continued.

"There should be a red card for the penalty and I think Prodl should have got a yellow card in the first half for his tackle on Josh King which meant he should have then got a red card in the second half. Then Okaka's elbow on Steve Cook at the end. It was a difficult game for the referee, there was a lot to see," the Bournemouth added.