AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased his side progressed to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.
As usual the Cherries made numerous changes to their starting XI for a cup fixture, this time make eight alterations to the side that beat Stoke City in the Premier League at the weekend.
Asmir Begovic was replaced by Artur Boruc in goal, full backs Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels kept their place in the back four but Simon Francis and Nathan Ake were replaced by Steve Cook and debutant Jack Simpson.
The midfield four of Junior Stanislas, Andrew Surman, Lewis Cook and Jordon Ibe all made way for Ryan Fraser, Harry Arter, Dan Gosling and Marc Pugh.
Up front and Lys Mousset kept his place in the side, but Benik Afobe was replaced by Callum Wilson, making his first appearance since returning from his devastating knee injury.
The Cherries went on to win the tie 3-1 with goals from Simpson, Wilson (penalty) and Afobe.
Howe told afcb.co.uk…
‘…I thought it was a tough game. Middlesbrough have a team full of experienced players that did well for them in the Premier League last season.
Even though they`d made changes, they`re always a tough nut to crack. We found them difficult to break down, but in the end we scored some deserved goals and overall were worthy winners…’
‘…We`re really pleased. There are eight teams left and we have a chance to progress. I think we`ve only been in this situation twice as a football club before so we want to go to fresh ground.
‘Who knows, when you get to the latter stages of a competition anything can happen and that`s very much our mentality.
Fraser still worringly short of form, first movement is always back towards his own goal, Ibe was much more positive, Pugh quiet first half and faded second half, Mousset never at the pace of the game.
Wilson very clever movement and link up play, Afobe made his point by being in the right place for Wilsons low cross.
Simpson has his own well deserved thread or two. – Join the conversation here.
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