AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has been pleased that the cup competitions have offered players the chance to impress this season.
With Howe opting to select a settled side in the Championship fixtures, the progress through both the League Cup to the Quarter-Final stage and the FA Cup to the fourth round handed players on the fringe of the league squad a chance to perform.
Those players have also been given the experience of playing against higher level competition in the form of West Brom and Liverpool in the League Cup and Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
Howe believes that experience will stand those players in good stead, which will increase competition amongst the squad as the focus now turns back to the second half of the Championship campaign.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
‘…There has been lots made of changes that we`ve made in the cups but I have always maintained that there`s very little different in terms of quality between our established starting XI and the guys that played against Aston Villa.
“They are outstanding players and but for a bit of luck, they would all be starting in the team.
“That competition is bringing out the best in everyone at the moment and I had no problem bringing those guys in.
“The performances of Adam Smith, Ryan Fraser, Eunan O`Kane and Shaun MacDonald were terrific and they are players that have not featured regularly for us, so that bodes well for the squad.”
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