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Howe: Early Stoke strike dented our confidence

Posted: Sat 13 Feb 2016

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes the Cherries failed to recover after Giannelli Imbula's ninth-minute strike put Stoke City ahead.

Despite his side's positive start at Vitality Stadium, they still found themselves behind after an instinctive first-time strike from the Frenchman.

"It was a difficult game for us," explained Howe.
"We started really brightly and then they scored a superb goal out of nowhere. From my perspective, that dented our confidence - we never recaptured our fluency after that.

"We had had all of the ball and been camped in their half. That was the first time they had ventured into our half and they really showed their quality."

It wasn't until the second half that the Potters extended their lead, netting two in three minutes through Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu.

The Cherries fought back through a Matt Ritchie strike and despite being unable to add any more to their tally, Howe was still quick to commend a spirited second half display. 

"You never give up," he continued.

"Credit to the players for still playing the same way and trying to get a positive outcome.

"That doesn't surprise me, though, given the group that we have. Now we have the task of responding very quickly and positively next week."
Cherries Player HD subscribers can watch all of the post Stoke City reaction here.