Norwich City keeper Declan Rudd’s red card reprieve leaves Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe unimpressed
06:45 18 January 2016
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Eddie Howe insisted justice had been served after Bournemouth picked up a first Premier League win in five at Norwich City’s expense.
Howe was convinced Declan Rudd should have been sent-off for a knee-high challenge on his club-record signing Benik Afobe towards the end of the first half.
Afobe sealed an impressive win for the Cherries with his first goal since leaving Wolves, after Dan Gosling and Charlie Daniels had punished Norwich.
“For me, it was a definite red card on their goalkeeper,” said Howe. “While you could argue that he may not have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity, the challenge was high and it caught Benik in a dangerous place.
“He is very lucky not to have picked up a serious injury, and I don’t see why the goalkeeper should be exempt from red cards for those challenges. In fact it is even more dangerous because of the speed he came out, and the speed Benik was attacking him. I think Benik is lucky. If it was anywhere else on the pitch then you would expect to see a red card.”
Howe is convincced Afobe will justify his reported £10m price tag but was delighted the young striker got off the mark in only his second appearance.
“It’s really important new players come in and do well,” he said. “Benik is a striker and it’s important for him to score goals. When you join a new club, it goes without saying, that you want to set a good impression and he has done that. As a striker you want to score and thankfully he has.
“It is not just doing it, but in the manner that he did it. It was a great finish, a great ball in from Charlie Daniels, who did superbly down the left, and that is a good sign for us. We do create chances and one of our Achilles heel this season has been not taking them.”
Howe wants his side’s timely win - which moved them a point clear of Norwich - to act as a catalyst ahead of this week’s trip to fellow relegation rivals Sunderland.
“It’s a big step forward on the back of Tuesday night’s game, when we lost to West Ham,” said the Cherries boss. “We didn’t play well against West Ham and didn’t get the result, but the players responded and their true character was there for all to see. This was the opposite of Tuesday, we were solid defensively and got goals at good times.
“We didn’t get the second goal we needed against West Ham but we got it here. It wasn’t the complete performance, but I’m very pleased with the players, we started positively and it continued right throughout the game. It was the perfect afternoon in many ways.
“Any win in this league is so valuable and the players produced an excellent, assured performance. We knew the importance of this month going into it and this is a big step. We’ve got Sunderland this week and the games just keep getting bigger.”