Eddie Howe was a relieved man just before 5pm on Saturday afternoon.
Newcastle passed up chance after chance to make it three or four goals in front, the Bournemouth boss admitting ‘Today was tough because we weren’t very good for 70 minutes’.
However, Rafa’s players can take a lot of credit for being right on top of the home side, stopping them creating anything, whilst doing plenty at the other end themselves.
Failing to take chances though when you are on top…can often come back to haunt you.
So it proved, the final 10 minutes or so, very much a case of throwing 90% of the good work away.
An away point isn’t something to be sniffed at but Eddie Howe must know he has played a get out of jail card this afternoon, with Newcastle helping by leaving the cell door unlocked…
“I think my heart this season is being tested, despite my age.
“Today was tough because we weren’t very good for 70 minutes but I have to praise the character and attitude of the team.
“You need everyone to be focused, not feel sorry for themselves, and credit to players for that so well.
“For the first ten minutes, it looked like we were going to produce a good performance.
“The goals were the turning points and we didn’t recover from conceding first goal.
“We made it difficult to create momentum from there.
“It was then a difficult atmosphere at half-time with the second goal. But, we didn’t go under and came back very well.
“I always believed that we were good enough despite the situation.
“The lack of opportunities meant that it was always going to be difficult to find two goals.
“We had to find a way to open them up.
“We changed the system, the substitutions made a difference, and we were able to turn the screw and penned them in their half.
“I was really pleased with the impact they all had. It shows the quality that we have.
“Adam Smith is an outstanding full-back, he gave us energy and enthusiasm.
“Jermain [Defoe] and Lys [Mousset] gave us different attacking options.
“Jermain had a shot early on and I thought Lys was a real handful for them. We looked a different team for the last 20 minutes.
“It’s encouraging that we didn’t get beaten by a team in and around us.
“At the end it was a massive (final) 20 minutes for us, so I’m really pleased that we got something out of it.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Gayle 17 and 45+1
Bournemouth: Smith 80 Gosling 89
Possession was Bournemouth 64% Newcastle 36%
Total shots were Bournemouth 18 Newcastle 15
Shots on target were Bournemouth 5 Newcastle 4
Corners were Bournemouth 8 Newcastle 1
Referee: Roger East
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Manquillo 84) , Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Hayden 78), Perez
Darlow, Clark, Merino, Joselu
Crowd: 10,808 (Approx Newcastle 1,400)
(Alan Shearer reacts to Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)
(Instinct reaction from NUFC fans/writers to the match HERE)