Cherries: Eddie in plea for a realistic response
BOSS Eddie Howe insists expectations must remain realistic and is urging people to stick with his men as they battle the odds. Cherries began the campaign as one of the favourites for League One relegation but have made huge strides and sit fifth in the table following a fine start to the season. The Dean Court outfit's form has been hit by two defeats on the bounce, with injuries to a number of key players, the departure of Josh McQuoid and the return of the transfer embargo not helping their cause. With influential goalkeeper Shwan Jalal and central defenders Ryan Garry and Shaun Cooper sidelined, Cherries were beaten by Hartlepool before being dumped out of the FA Cup by Notts County on Tuesday night. Following those setbacks, Howe stressed the importance of remembering the leap forward that has been made in the past two years. Having taken charge as a rookie manager with Cherries facing relegation out of the Football League, Howe has dragged the Dorset club from those depths to their current lofty status in the third tier. Many supporters have set their sights on another possible promotion tilt, but Howe told the Echo: I think it's important to be realistic and know where we are as a club and know what we're trying to do. We're constantly fighting against the odds and fighting against difficulties and so far, we haven't done a bad job. But people have to remember where we've come from and how difficult it's been to get where we are now. People need to stick with us and ride the peaks and the troughs together. If you just look back and think where the club was as a whole two years ago, you wouldn't have believed where we are now. So I think, sometimes, it's good just to reflect back. Although we want continued success because that's what we're desperate to have and to continue having, it's only through hard work and doing the right things that you do that. That's what we'll endeavour to do but it's not easy and all the clubs in the league want the same thing. Howe added: When you look at the lads' play and see what they give to each game, I don't think you can be too pessimistic or down on the players. They're a fantastic group and they continually surprise us, so just stick with the players and the team and, hopefully, there will be good times ahead.
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