Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Howe urges Bournemouth to keep playing their passing game despite defeats

Eddie Howe has told Bournemouth to hold their attacking nerve to end their pointless Premier League start.

Howe admitted the Cherries have had their passing-game confidence knocked by four defeats in their first four league encounters.

Now Bournemouth host promoted Brighton on Friday night in a must-win clash, with long-serving boss Howe insistent his players are close to hitting their straps.

Refusing to accept his players' attitude has slipped at the start of their third straight top-flight campaign, Howe said: "It's about going back to basics for us now.

"(We need) to get the fundamentals of our game functioning.

"Historically we've always been very, very good with the ball, very confident, and we haven't quite seen that and that's the most concerning thing.

"I wouldn't question the attitude of my players, yes the performances but never the attitude.

"You see trends, you see the attitude and how we want to work and want to win. That's all there.

"They haven't lost that, we just haven't delivered on game day. That's frustrating for them, frustrating for me.

"Absolutely we've got to keep our nerve, and I don't think it's far away from clicking at all.

"We gave a good account of ourselves against Manchester City and you can get beaten by Arsenal at any time given the quality of their players.

"West Brom away is a tough game, and the Watford game would be a disappointment for us in terms of how we played.

"The trouble is in this league you can find a way to get beaten by anybody, so we just have to have a cool head, stick to what we know we can do and deliver."

Bournemouth and Crystal Palace remain the only Premier League teams yet to get off the mark on the points front this term.

Palace this week dismissed Frank de Boer after just four games at the Eagles' helm.

Howe has guided Bournemouth to two fine top-flight years and, w hen quizzed on De Boer's fate, he answered: "To be honest I haven't given it a minute's thought.

"But I'm very disappointed for Frank, four games isn't time to do anything."

Asked if he now faces his most difficult moment in the Bournemouth hot seat, Howe replied: "No, there's been plenty of other moments equally as difficult.

"Last season we had a really difficult period, came back stronger for it.

"It's never been a straight line of success, it never is. You need to accept the test and come back with the answers.

"It's never that bleak. You just have to analyse how you work; analyse yourself before the players."

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