Howe buoyed by Bournemouth's fighting spirit
Eddie Howe lauded Bournemouth's resilient display after the Cherries claimed yet another late win in a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Bournemouth are experts at late rallies, and Monday's fixture proved no exception when Junior Stanislas scored an 87th-minute penalty to clinch the three points.
David Brooks had opened the scoring in the fifth minute, only for Patrick van Aanholt to fire home Palace's equaliser from an offside position.
However, substitute Stanislas had the final say following Mamadou Sakho's foul on Jefferson Lerma, and Howe was full of praise for his side's never-say-die attitude.
"It's a massive part of our armoury," Howe told Sky Sports.
"The fitness levels of the players are second to none, they're a very dedicated group, very professional and they look after themselves in the right way.
"The spirit and togetherness has always been there, we've never lost it, if anything we've enhanced it, and it does enable us to stay in games when we're behind.
"Today it was a case of going for the three points and I'm really pleased with the win."
6 - Bournemouth have won a Premier League game on a Monday for the first time, in their sixth attempt (D1 L4). Progress. pic.twitter.com/9nXrFZT13O— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 1, 2018
Stanislas had only been on the pitch three minutes when he stepped up to take the penalty, sending Wayne Hennessey the wrong way with what was his first touch.
And Howe lauded the winger's composure and importance to Bournemouth's squad.
"We're delighted Junior was on the pitch to take the penalty for us because he's been such a reliable penalty taker for us," Howe added.
"He deserves the credit to focus his mind and show the coolness needed. I bank on him to make the right call as I do all my players in these situations. He's a massive player for us."
While Bournemouth are up in seventh, Palace sit in 13th, and Roy Hodgson had no doubt that Sakho's foul was worthy of a penalty.
"I don't know that Sakho has deliberately tried to catch him but it looks that way," Hodgson said.
6 - Since the start of last season, Patrick van Aanholt has scored six Premier League goals; among defenders, only Marcos Alonso has more (8). Leveler. pic.twitter.com/ynxEGWZB2R— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 1, 2018
"I couldn't see so I had to look at the replays, and when people look at the replays I'm sure they'll see Sakho catch [Lerma] with his arm and as a result the referee gives a penalty.
"I don't think the team needs to be ashamed of the performance. We got ourselves into the game and looked dangerous, but it's goals that count and they got two."