Eddie Howe - Bournemouth let Norwich City off the hook
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Eddie Howe felt Jonny Howson's sending-off wrecked Bournemouth's bid to spoil Alex Neil's big day in charge of Norwich City.
The Cherries' chief insisted his side's second-half surge was halted by Howson's red card and the impressive response to adversity from the visitors.
Howe expected nothing less than a Norwich buoyed by the appointment of another young manager in the same mould as himself, with Neil making his presence felt on the touchline in the defining final quarter.
'I don't think you can doubt Norwich's players got a new lift from the manager coming in,' said Howe. 'I said beforehand we cannot control that. We can only control our performance and this is where I will reflect on us, rather than Norwich, and we were not at our best. We didn't have as much of the ball as we usually do, which sometimes happens against good sides. You can't have total domination, you have to earn that and we turned the ball over a little bit too cheaply, which is unlike us. Credit to Norwich how they moved the ball in the first half and probably our best period in the game was just after half-time prior to the sending-off, when we looked like we would build that momentum. The sending-off turned the game and unfortunately for us it was the wrong way.'
Howe admitted Howson may have had grounds for leniency after a strong challenge on Yann Kermorgant was punished by Chris Foy, but the Cherries' boss was less charitable over the handball call missed by the officials against Michael Turner for Norwich's equaliser.
'The key decision in the game was the handball for their first goal, which was wrong,' he said. 'It is a difficult one to see but the interesting thing is if you see the Norwich celebrations they are muted. They know it was handball and the goal should not have stood. It is difficult for referees to sometimes go off player reactions but that can tell you a lot. Clearly it should not have been allowed and that is a frustrating one for us to concede.
'In terms of the sending-off, I didn't think it was a great tackle. Whether it was a red card or not is a tough one. I didn't think it was particularly dangerous but that was only my view at the time. I haven't seen it again. It was tough but the referee from our perspective managed the game quite well.'