Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Howe refusing to fret over Bournemouth's future penalty taking plans

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is refusing to fret over future penalty taking plans as his team head north for their midweek clash with Liverpool.

The Cherries had a golden chance to bank another three points in Saturday's clash with Southampton, only for Harry Arter to sky his second-half spot-kick.

His was the third penalty missed in succession, by three different Bournemouth players, and they therefore had to settle for a 0-0 draw which leaves them seven points above the relegation zone in 11th.

On Wednesday they will go up against a side they beat in a thrilling reverse fixture which finished 4-3 late last year.

Howe, who insists that outcome will have no relevance to this assignment, confirmed he has plans in place should Bournemouth be awarded another penalty, even if he is not making them public.

He told the club's official website: "We will have a nominated penalty taker.

"It can be difficult to predict - you don't know who's on the pitch and who feels confident at that stage of the game to pick it up and score.

"Now it's a major talking point but I hope it stops being one soon - and we get back to scoring them."

With or without success from the spot, Bournemouth will arrive on Merseyside unbeaten in their last four matches - and it is that, rather than their narrow win at home to the Reds in December, which is encouraging Howe.

Casting his mind back, he added: "On the day we had a little bit of luck.

"We were out of it but we didn't give up, surrender - and then managed to end the game on a real high.

"That said, it has no relevance to this game. It's a totally different game, away from home where we hope we can get some points."

Liverpool are set to be missing their top scorer Sadio Mane, who has a knee injury.

But Howe knows his team will be in for a tough battle, whoever his opposite number Jurgen Klopp selects.

"Liverpool away will be a really good test for us," he said.

"We know it's going to be very difficult - they have very good players and a manager I'm sure will be a success in the long term.

"We've played well there recently but not got any points. The next challenge is to go there and get something.

"The turning point was Chelsea away last season - we then started to believe we could beat anyone. Now we've learned that if we're at our maximum - and perhaps the other team has a slight off-day - we have a chance of winning."

As for former Saint Mane's absence, he added: "He's a player we respect and he was excellent when we played Southampton last year, but you know they have high-quality players they can bring in.

"Any time you go to Liverpool you respect their quality - but it's down to us to repel that."

Bournemouth will be without midfielder Andrew Surman, who has a knee-ligament injury and may possibly be out for the remainder of the season.

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