Eddie Howe: AFC Bournemouth boss hails 'huge' win

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe's side have the best goal difference in the Championship by eight goals

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says the 4-2 win over Birmingham which lifted the Cherries to the top of the Championship with five games to go was "huge".

The Cherries battled back from being two goals down to earn all three points at the Goldsands Stadium on Monday.

In the race for promotion Howe's side now hold a one-point advantage over Norwich and Watford, with Middlesbrough slipping to fourth.

"Every game is important and this is a huge win," Howe told BBC Radio Solent.

Five games to go - Championship promotion race
B'mouthNorwichWatfordM'boroDerbyWolves
Brighton (a)Bolton (a)Millwall (a)Rotherham (h)Brentford (h)B'ham (a)
Reading (a)Leeds (a)Nottm Forest (a)Wolves (h)Blackpool (h)M'boro (a)
Sheff Wed (h)M'boro (h)Birmingham (h)Norwich (a)Huddersfield (a)Ipswich (h)
Bolton (h)Rotherham (a)Brighton (a)Fulham (a)Millwall (a)Wigan (a)
Charlton (a)Fulham (h)Sheff Wed (h)Brighton (h)Reading (h)Millwall (h)

Howe admitted his side were not at their best during a nervy opening 45 minutes in which they conceded two goals before Steve Cook and Callum Wilson pulled them level.

Second-half goals from Yann Kermorgant and Charlie Daniels sealed victory and Howe was impressed with how they battled back.

"We showed real character and it's a huge win because it re-emphasises that belief in how good we are. I thought for a spell in the second half we were really good," he added.

"We know how tight the division is and every win is huge, especially in front of our own supporters and what we don't want to do is have any anxiety.

"We are playing at home, we love playing here, the supporters stuck with us, which was key. They played their part in staying calm and thankfully we all got the result we wanted."

The Cherries next travel to Brighton on Friday and Bournemouth's manager says they are well placed with five to go.

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Howe on Bournemouth v Birmingham

"We are pleased with where we are," he said.

"It's five games to go and we want to win all five. I know it's a cliche but we do need to take the next game as the most important one and we'll look forward to it."

Meanwhile, Howe says he still does not know whether winger Marc Pugh's season is over.

Pugh last played in the 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough and Howe added: "He's twisted his ankle. He's had a scan, it's showed some damage but it doesn't feel too bad. So we are going to step up his rehab and see how quickly we can do that before, or if, he breaks down."

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