The defeat last weekend against Burnley at Dean Court hit a nerve with AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.
Against a club he has previously managed, his current side fell well short of their usual levels of effort and performance.
Despite being virtually safe for another season in the Premier League, Howe was critical of his side, who also in one of a very few occasions over the past seven years, heard the frustrations of the Dean Court faithful at the final whistle.
After the game Howe spoke of his disappointment that he hadn’t seen the Cherries clear identity and philosophy in recent weeks, a run that had seen just one win in nine and that was against the Premier League’s bottom side Huddersfield.
Howe wanted to return to basics against Brighton & Hove Albion and he also made a few changes to personnel and system. Out went Asmir Begovic who has had a dreadful second half of the season, with Artur Boruc returning between the sticks.
Steve Cook returned from injury against his former club, with Nathan Ake moving to a left-back role in the absence of injured duo Charlie Daniels and Diego Rico.
This performance was everything that Eddie Howe would have wanted, Brighton were limited to very little chances in front of goal with a clean sheet secured.
Meanwhile, five goals were scored for the visitors, with all five goals coming from different players with Dan Gosling, Ryan Fraser, David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas getting on the scoresheet.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk…
“I’m really really pleased with the performance today. It’s been a difficult run and we know the importance of today’s win.
“Once we got the first goal, I saw a different us. We were more confident, a cohesive unit and it was a much improved second half…”
“…Our goals today were trademark us, which was the pleasing thing. The first goal was a great team goal and it was nice to see Dan (Gosling) score.
“In the second half, we gelled and linked up well around the box so I’ll enjoy watching the goals back later tonight.
What a difference a week makes
I think Brighton were worse than we were last week!
5 different goalscorers, a clean sheet, definite safety. Total confidence and domination for the majority of the game and ruthless finishing.
Full credit to the team for completely turning around last weeks farce.
Bring on Fulham and a top half finish (hopefully) – Join the conversation, click here.