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Howe throws down gauntlet to Bournemouth defenders

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has thrown down the gauntlet to his defenders.

The Cherries kept just six clean sheets last season, good for last in the Premier League alongside the relegated Stoke City.

Asked about the shutouts, Howe told the Daily Echo: "Believe it or not, the season before it was something we had highlighted and worked on and sometimes you don't get your reward immediately.

"That's what it felt like, defensively, for us last season. It felt as if a lot of work had gone in and we had not quite got the reward for that work.

"Who's to say what this season will be for us? But we need to improve defensively, while not sacrificing how we play, which is the most important thing for me.

"That's what has brought us all the success. Yes, we have scored goals which have enabled us to win games or get points but getting that balance right to remain an attacking, front-foot, expansive side while becoming tighter at the back is the thing we're chasing."

About the author

Freddie Taylor

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