Eddie Howe: 1-0 loss to Manchester United difficult to take

The AFC Bournemouth manager felt aggrieved after his side were narrowly beaten at Old Trafford, however, were the better team throughout the whole match.

Eddie Howe: 1-0 loss to Manchester United difficult to take
Credit: Catherine Ivill (Getty Images)

Eddie Howe spoke to the media after his AFC Bournemouth side fell to an unwarranted 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Wednesday night.

Romelu Lukaku's 14th goal of the season, a powerful header in the 26th minute, was enough to secure victory for José Mourinho's side and a first loss on the road for The Cherries in five outings.

Eddie Howe disappointed at outcome

"Yes, very disappointed. I felt we had a very good first half, especially the first 20-25 minutes where I thought we dominated the game. The first time they got near our goal they scored, and that was difficult to take.

"I felt we were good in most areas today, I thought we were disciplined out of possession, the players delivered the game plan very well, we looked like we had a real cutting edge in possession and created chances right until the end. I thought we were pretty good in most areas."

Lukaku "lucky" to stay on the field

Romelu Lukaku was in the wars throughout the first half and was not only at the end of hefty tackles, but put a few in of his own which Howe believes should've resulted in his dismissal.

"Yes, I did [think he was lucky], obviously I was chatting with the fourth official. I thought, in my opinion, the first tackle was a yellow card, he was very late on Nathan [Aké] and we made that point to the fourth official.

"And then, of course, he picked up another one which was a clear yellow, so he should have been off the pitch. The referee missed a couple - I don't want to go on about referees again but you have started me off - of tackles and the first [bad] tackle we made it was a yellow, so that was difficult."

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Despite his doubts that Lukaku should've remained on the pitch, Howe was gracious in defeat and conceded that the Belgian's goal was a good one.

"No, I think that game [6-3 loss against Everton] was a tough one for us to take. At that stage, we weren't playing particularly well and we were open that day, but you are aware of his strengths and we know what he can do, of course, attacking crosses.

"He scored a goal from a cross today, I thought it was a really good header from him, but in the main, we've kept him pretty quiet, as we have their team [Manchester United].

An encouraging performance

"Yes, very encouraged. To come here and play in the manner we did, pass the ball in the way that we did, be very brave, make the pitch as big as we can, very expansive - it is not easy to do and we're asking them to play the hardest way.

"I think you have to give the boys a lot of credit today. You come here and you limit them to the chances that they created, I think that is a huge thing for us to take forward and if we can replicate this performance in future games we'll win a lot of points."

Team selection justified

 

"Just to freshen the team. I think we have tried to learn from previous experiences in the Premier League that if we keep rolling the same team out week in, week out and in these mid-week games with the schedule we have got coming up, the players will be fatigued.

"I do not think you want players being fatigued facing Manchester United and the games we have to come so I think there will be slightly more rotation in the future. I think it benefitted us, I thought the players that came in did very well."

Gosling has started against all big six?

"I think Dan [Gosling] is very good. Out of possession I think he is an excellent midfielder in terms of breaking up play, being disciplined in his position and delivering what I asked him to do. I trust him, he is the model pro, he is always there training superbly and his attitudes great, so yes there is something in that in the respect that I trust the player."