Bournemouth manager Howe defiant over selection pressure
REUTERS - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is not fazed by external pressure while choosing his squad and is only focused on doing what is right for the club, the 39-year-old said ahead of Tuesday's second round League Cup match at Birmingham City.
Howe faced criticism for his team selections during cup competitions last season after fielding reserve players during defeats to lower tier sides, leading to early exits from the FA Cup and League Cup.
"I am certainly not going to bow to pressure from anybody to do anything other than what is right for us," Howe told the Daily Echo. "When I say that, what I mean is developing young players, giving an opportunity to our squad...
"Everyone cries out in this country for more chances for young players to play and, when you do play them and rotate the team, you get criticised for it.
"Sometimes, when you are in this seat, you are in a no-win situation but I will do what is right for Bournemouth and take the consequences."
Despite their dismal results in cup competitions, Bournemouth secured their highest ever league finish at ninth last season.
Howe said the league was still their main priority but that does not change their ambitions in other domestic competitions.
"When you enter a cup competition, you want to do well for the supporters, the club and the team and you want to go as far as you can," Howe said. "The fact I am making changes doesn't change that and we still want those things.
"You are trying to manage your squad in a productive way so everyone feels like they have had an opportunity to play and everyone is ready to play when called upon for the Premier League, which ultimately... is our priority.
"We still want to do well in the cup competitions and we want to start well against Birmingham if we can."
Following their match against Birmingham, Bournemouth host Manchester City in the league on Saturday.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)