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Cherries: Howe keeps faith in squad and refrains from loan market
CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe says he has no immediate plans to call for reinforcements and is backing his faltering squad to turn the tide.
Howe was speaking after Cherries’ League One promotion hopes had taken another dent following Saturday’s dispiriting 3-1 reverse at Leyton Orient.
A defensive horror show at Brisbane Road condemned Cherries to a fourth successive defeat, leaving Howe’s men six points behind the top two and two adrift of a play-off place.
Howe, who masterminded a 15-match unbeaten league run after returning to the club in October, has now presided over four defeats on the trot for the first time in his two spells as Cherries manager.
Cherries’ alarming wobble has coincided with the absence of injured pair Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels with their defensive frailties again ruthlessly exposed in east London.
However, although Howe has until the end of this month to bring in loan recruits, he looks certain to keep faith with his current squad unless the injury situation worsens.
In an interview with the Daily Echo, Howe said: “We have got a few weeks until the loan deadline but I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion at the moment. I think we desperately need to do some work on the training pitch and get back to basics.
“We need to get back to looking more solid as a unit and these are things we can do.
“I don’t doubt the individuals in the team. I don’t doubt the players and never have so it is certainly not a case of let’s ship out players and get new ones in. We will work with the players we have got because we believe in them. We need to play better.”
Howe added: “There is absolutely no blame in terms of individuals but people have to take responsibility and do better. It is always a collective effort whether you win, lose or draw.
“There is certainly no panic from my perspective because I don’t know what good that would do us.
“I am hugely disappointed to have lost the past four games and we have lost them in different ways.
“The goals conceded have made it a lot more difficult for us and we keep conceding in the first half.
“That gives other teams something to cling to and it is something we have got to address because we are a talented team, there is no doubt about that.
“We have got very good players but, for whatever reason, we are just not playing to our full potential at the moment.”
Asked whether the current run was a test of his management, Howe replied: “You are always tested and always under the microscope so, from that perspective, nothing changes whether you have won or lost. I don’t really feel any different.
“I think a lot can be made of the end result but it doesn’t actually change the way you work, the way you focus and the way you want to be successful. We want to be successful more than anything and will work all the hours it takes to try to get the team winning again.”
Cherries’ woes were compounded by wins for promotion rivals Doncaster, Sheffield United, Yeovil, Swindon and Brentford. Howe’s men host Doncaster at Dean Court on Saturday.
Meanwhile, striker Frank Demouge yesterday scored twice for loan club Roda JC in their 4-1 victory over FC Groningen in the Dutch top flight.