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First team

Small details cost us says boss Ed

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe felt “small details” had cost AFC Bournemouth an opening-day victory against promoted Sheffield United at Vitality Stadium.

Defender Chris Mepham’s first Premier League goal, which came after 62 minutes, appeared to have settled a cagey affair in favour of the Cherries.

But veteran marksman Billy Sharp came off the bench to salvage a point for the visitors, the 33-year-old’s dramatic equaliser coming two minutes from time.

Sharp was on hand to pounce from close range after a free-kick routine down the right flank had allowed George Baldock the freedom to centre.

Howe said: “We were really frustrated because we didn’t play at our best today, I think we are well aware of that.

“But we had the lead and had fought really hard to get that lead and we just didn’t get over the line.

“Small details cost us today. I wouldn’t say we switched off at the free-kick because I thought we were alert but we just didn’t make the right decisions with our positioning and we paid the price.

“Two points are massive and I think every point you respect so much at this level and that’s why we have to respect the point we got.

“It’s not the ideal start for us. We had hoped to perform better and to win. But you have to take what you are given and take your lessons and learn from it quickly.

“Billy Sharp has a goalscorers’ mentality and instinct and is always in the right place at the right time.

“From our perspective, we feel the ball should never have reached that position. We had to deal with it better. But I’m sure we can go away and put those things right.”

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