Howe: Pompey gave Cherries tough test

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe. Picture: Shaun Boggust
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe. Picture: Shaun Boggust
Conor Chaplin and Brett Pitman. Picture: Shaun Boggust

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EDDIE HOWE thanked Pompey for giving his side a stiff test of their credentials.

Bournemouth picked up a 2-1 win at Fratton Park on Saturday in front of a crowd of 7,182.

Howe felt the Blues offered his side exactly the sort of challenge they were looking for in their second pre-season fixture.

How told www.afcb.co.uk: ‘It was a tough game, it always is coming here and that’s why we wanted the fixture.

‘It’s a tough place to come, the crowd, though smaller than normal here, still do get behind their team. That made it a good experience for the players.

‘I don’t think we are at full pelt yet but I don’t think we’d want to be. We’ve still got some time left to fully get our eye in.’

Pompey old boys Jermain Defoe and Asmir Begovic were both given runouts at their old stamping ground along with new £20m Cherries signing Nathan Ake.

Howe said: ‘I thought they all did well. Asmir was very good, he didn’t have a great deal to do with his hands but was good with his feet today.

‘Nathan is Nathan, he slots in and looks like he’s never been away. It was great to see Jermain in, albeit for a shorter period of time. He had a couple of chances, so good signs for him.’

French striker Lyn Mousset opened the scoring and looked lively for the visitors with fellow goalscorer Benik Afobe.

Howe said: ‘He has all the attributes to be a really good performer for us.

‘He’s got an eye for goal, he’s very strong, he’s very quick, technically he’s very good so he has all the ingredients.

‘The main thing that we needed to work on was his fitness and his ability to endure the high pace of the Premier League – he looks in a lot better shape this season than last.’

Bournemouth have four more warm-up games before starting the season against West Brom on August 12.

He said: ‘I’m hoping to see full pelt against West Brom. Before then you’re looking to know that the players are fit enough, that they know how we want to play and that we’re fully organised and ready for the season.’