English Premiership

Howe looks back at debut campaign

2016-05-06 09:47
Eddie Howe (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admits that his side's debut campaign in the Premier League could so easily have turned into a nightmare.

Howe exuded confidence and optimism since day one at the promoted club and revealed that this season was a real test of character as they managed to retain their top-flight status in the midst of an injury crisis to key players in the early months.

Long-term injures to club captain Tommy Elphick, top-scorer Callum Wilson and Harry Arter saw the team's spine totally ripped out. Then to add insult to injury, winger Max Gradel and left-back Tyrone Mings both suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage after signing for a combined fee of £21.3m during the off-season.

"When you are in the moment, there is nothing positive to be gained from highlighting the fact you are missing some key players," Howe told the Daily Echo.

"We wanted to carry on and to try to get the best out of the players we had available. That has always been our method of working.

"The guys who have been fit all season have been an absolute credit to the football club. As a squad, they had to regroup and find the fight to go again and prove everybody wrong.

"Thankfully, the spirit we have had throughout our time here hasn't diminished and the players went on to some even greater performances than they had given previously. That's the best compliment I can give them."

Elphick played almost every minute of their promotion-winning campaign the year before, while Wilson hit 20 league goals and Arter was crowned Player of the Season.

"It was a huge blow to lose these players and the worry I had was the effect it would have on the rest of the squad," Howe added.

"It can eat away at the confidence and self-belief when you see players going down injured. It was a tough examination of our resources, our character and our ability to bounce back and it took a few games but we did and the lads responded superbly.

"At the time, it felt as if things were going against us and we had to shake away the excuses because the mind is a very powerful thing. If you allow an excuse to develop then the sub-conscious will take it but, thankfully, we didn't.

"We were desperate to get the players fit as quickly as we could but also knew we had to focus on the players who were available.

"A lot of the players in the squad really stepped up and that was key. They didn't shirk from the challenge, they embraced it, faced it and we ended up getting some great results in and around that spell."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion, Craven Cottage 21:45
Arsenal v Cardiff City, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United, Molineux Stadium 21:45
Huddersfield Town v Everton, The John Smith's Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 22:00
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 22:00
Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Southampton v Crystal Palace, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea, Vitality Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v Leicester City, Anfield 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 02 February 2019
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 14:30
Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Fulham, Selhurst Park 17:00
Chelsea v Huddersfield Town, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Southampton, Turf Moor 17:00
Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth, Cardiff City Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.