AFC Bournemouth's pre-season training camp came to an end on Friday evening with a 4-3 victory over Levante at the La Manga Football Centre.
After the game, Eddie Howe spoke with afcbTV and covered the following key points.
On the game as a whole…
It was a strange one because we’re pleased to win. There’s a lot to look back at and reflect on. I’m pleased that we scored four goals, but disappointed to have conceded three.
We made a really fast start and that was reflected in the way in which we’ve trained. We then had a bit of a strange period where we just lost our control.
I thought it was a real test of our character when we went 3-2 down. The pleasing thing was that we came back and won the game.
We weren’t at our fluent best with the ball today and we were open to the counter attack. We made a few individual errors during the first half. But we’re at an early stage of pre-season and we’re building to where we want to be.
On scoring before half time…
That goal gave the game a totally different feel. Our second half team did really well, and we managed to keep a clean sheet which was pleasing.
On Lewis Cook’s winner…
We know Lewis has that kind of thing in him. We’re urging him to try and score more and make the right decisions. It was the right decision to shoot and he showed great technique to score, so we’re really pleased. His all round performance was very strong.
On Callum Wilson’s absence…
Callum just felt unwell before the game. He was at the game watching.
On the training camp…
It has been really tough. We’ve really worked the players again, as we have done in the past. We haven’t given them too much free time and sometimes we’ve had three sessions on a day. We’ve tested them in a different way with the team building exercises.
We go back a tighter group and a better squad for the experiences that we’ve had out here.
The facilities out here, and everything that we’ve been able to do, have made it a first class trip.
On the team spirit…
The players have been prepared to give anything a go. We’ve done loads of team building exercises and sometimes, when challenged, some players tend to shy away from a moment that may not feel comfortable in. We haven’t had that once with a player on this trip.
The lads have thrown themselves into everything and have wanted to win. That deserves a lot of recognition and it will serve us well moving forward.
They’ve mixed really well together and have done everything as a group. We’ve had no groups going off as threes or fours, so they’re certainly good signs.
On Bristol City and Nottingham Forest friendlies…
I think you can expect two really strong sides. We will go to both games trying to win. It will be a tough examination for the players because they’re both really strong teams in the Championship. It’s going to be a stretch of our squad, but we’re looking forward to it.