by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe praised the attitude of his playersÂ after the Cherries fought back against Newcastle United to claim a late point.
Rafa Benitezâ€™s Magpies had raced into a two goal lead before half-time after Dwight Gayleâ€™s brace. Ex-Cherries winger Matt Ritchie crossed for Gayle who flicked into the net for the first, before the former Crystal Palace frontman prodded home another on the stroke of half-time.
But Howeâ€™s men improved drastically after the interval, and halved the deficit through Adam Smithâ€™s venomous strike. The Cherries eventually found the equaliser in the 89th minute, when former Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling was on hand to stab Nathan Akeâ€™s pass into the roof of the net and force a share of the spoils.
Howe said after the game that he always believed his team could salvage a result, despite having it all to do at half-time.
“I always believe that were good enough.” he told the media. “The substitutions made a big difference. The last 10 minutes we were able to pen them in.”
Despite the end result, Howe did admit the Cherries were poor for the majority of the game: “My heart this season is being tested to the max.
“Today was tough, we werenâ€™t very good for 70 mins. I have to praise the attitude of the players to come back.”
Jermain Defoe was a second-half substitute, after returning from the serious ankle injury picked up against Chelsea in December. The veteran striker played a key role in instigating Bournemouthâ€™s comeback, along with Adam Smith and Lys Mousset - both of whom were throw on with the Cherries chasing two goals.
“It does show the quality that weâ€™ve got.” Howe said. “Adam Smith gave us energy. Jermain [Defoe] and Lys [Mousset] made a big difference.”
The stalemate keeps Bournemouth in 10th place, five points clear of the drop zone ahead of a trip to Leicester City.