Eddie Howe thankful Bournemouth don't pay goal bonuses after Fulham thrashing
Last Updated: 06/03/15 11:28pm
Eddie Howe saw his free-scoring Bournemouth side rack up another five goals against Fulham and smiled: "Thankfully we don't pay goal bonuses!"
The country's top scorers marched back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship courtesy of two goals apiece from Brett Pitman and Matt Ritchie followed by a late cracker from Steve Cook to seal a thumping 5-1 victory.
"I'm delighted with the win," said Cherries boss Howe. "We felt it was going to be a difficult fixture when you see players Fulham have, but we started well, we were very positive, we scored at good times and could have scored more.
"Thankfully we don't have goal bonuses in the contracts. We took them out."
Pitman, only in the side due to an injury to Yann Kermorgant - who hit both goals in their midweek victory over Wolves - got the ball rolling just before the half-hour mark with his first goal since Boxing Day.
Ritchie doubled the advantage before half-time with a deflected effort and Pitman helped himself to a fine solo goal on the hour.
Matt Smith pulled one back with his first goal in Fulham colours, but any hopes of a home comeback were extinguished when Fernando Amorebieta was sent off for fouling Callum Wilson and Ritchie blasted in the resulting free-kick.
Cook then crashed in number five with six minutes remaining to put the icing on the cake for the Cherries, who made it back-to-back victories after five games without a win to put their promotion bid right back on track.
"During the five games we didn't win the performance levels were still strong," added Howe. "I didn't think there was anything wrong with the team and I think we have proved that. When we have that ruthlessness we are hard to stop.
"The lead has changed so many times it's almost become the tag no one wants. That's been the nature of it and it may stay that way until the end of the season, so back-to-back wins are so important."
Fulham, by contrast, are looking over their shoulders at the relegation battle - their cushion could be cut to five points by Saturday evening.
"It looked like top against bottom," admitted manager Kit Symons. "All credit to Bournemouth but we are bitterly disappointed with the performance.
"Until we are mathematically safe we have to get as many points as we can. We are conscious of what's below us. No one is under any illusions, you only have to look at the table. Everyone is fully aware of where we are."