AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased with his sides performance despite the 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
The Cherries hosted their Premier League neighbours at Dean Court last (Friday) night for the first game on the newly laid pitch.
Eddie Howe’s squad continued to have a few notable absentees with goalkeepers Lee Camp and Darryl Flahavan injured, midfielder Shaun MacDonald missing as a precaution due to a hip problem and striker Tokelo Rantie only due to return to pre-season training next week.
With Ryan Allsop on loan at Coventry City, this left last seasons development squad goalkeeper Benji Buchel to make his Dean Court debut playing the full 90 minutes.
Adam Smith, Steve Cook, Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels made up the back four with Marc Pugh, Dan Gosling, Eunan O’Kane and Josh McQuoid completing the midfield with Yann Kermorgant partnering Callum Wilson upfront.
Southampton’s Lloyd Isgrove scored the only goal of the game during the first half, but the match provided a good pre-season work out for the players.
Matt Ritchie replaced Wilson at half time, whilst a flurry of substitutions came on 70 minutes with Simon Francis, Baily Cargill, Ian Harte, Brett Pitman, Ben Whitfield, Harry Arter and Junior Stanislas all being introduced.
With 10 minutes to go Sam Matthews also received a run out.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
“I thought it was a good game between two good sides. Our players looked a little leggy which I expected with the work we have done this week. We worked them very hard in preparation for this game and knew they would go into it slightly tired. But with the games we have coming up, we felt this would be our last week to get some fitness work into them.
“I was disappointed with some aspects of our play and pleased with other aspects so we have a bit of work to do but none of that surprises us.
“I think the lads look reasonably fit. We have a couple on the treatment table who we would like to get back. They are only minor injuries so we are confident they will be back sooner rather than later and I think that will make us look a lot stronger…’
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