Eddie Howe finds defeat to Fulham "tough one to take"
Last Updated: 20/04/19 7:25pm
Eddie Howe’s 500th game as a manager ended in disappointment as his Bournemouth side fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of relegated Fulham.
The Cherries had thrashed Brighton 5-0 last weekend but fluffed their lines at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, becoming the first team this season to lose at home to the Cottagers.
"Tough one to take," said the Cherries boss. "We were so good last week, so clinical in front of goal, some of our passing and movement was of the highest quality. Today, that was missing.
"We created the opportunities today, we got into the positions, but we didn't quite execute the finish right or the final pass, and it'll be a frustration because we felt we could have won that game today."
Bournemouth's plans were disrupted in the warm-up when right-back Adam Smith suffered a pre-match knee injury, forcing Howe to bring in Junior Stanislas as a last-minute replacement.
And, with just 23 minutes gone, Stanislas had to limp off after hurting himself when firing a Bournemouth free-kick over the bar.
"Quite bizarre you lose two players who can play that position, Adam before kick-off and Junior taking the free-kick," said Howe.
"At that stage of the game, I think we'd started really brightly, we were really pleased with how we were playing, there was a really good tempo about the team and that seemed to rock our shape really, we didn't quite get our balance back despite various attempts to try and find that, we never got quite got our rhythm back in the match."
With Bournemouth struggling to reassert their dominance, Fulham grew into the game and grabbed the only goal of the match in the 53rd-minute when Jack Simpson fouled Aleksandar Mitrovic in the box and the Serbian converted the penalty.
"Goals always change games. We were disappointed to concede the penalty," admitted Howe.
"We kept going until the end, we did create chances, but, similar story, we didn't take them. Credit to Fulham, I think they came here, they fought, they battled, but we're very frustrated we haven't got the result."