AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe hopeful of Tokelo Rantie boost
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is hoping striker Tokelo Rantie can reproduce his international form in the Championship.
Rantie, 24, scored three times in his last two games for South Africa to help the Bafana Bafana qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
He has had to play second fiddle to Cherries striker Callum Wilson this term, but Howe hopes his international form will boost his confidence.
"You look at Tokelo's recent form and he's been very strong," said Howe.
"Starting from a development game where he scored four, he has gone on a really good run, scored two against Birmingham.
"He has had limited game time for us but I think his performances have steadily improved," he told BBC Radio Solent.
|Howe's verdict on Rantie|
|"He has been patient, worked incredibly hard and been very professional which will only help him in the long run."|
Rantie arrived at Bournemouth in August 2013 for a club-record fee, but only scored three goals in his first season and has two from 10 games so far this term.
Howe believes the quality of his performances for South Africa, though, should benefit him in the Championship.
"When you go away on international duty, you can't underestimate it," said Howe.
"He has been playing against Nigeria, who are very strong in world football, the quality of his goals hopefully that should give him a real boost."
Wilson has been first choice for Bournemouth and has repaid Howe's faith with 11 goals since his summer move from Coventry.
And Howe says he may consider changing things to involve both the strikers in the team.
"We have two very strong number nines," he said.
"Whether we tweak things to get them both on the team sheet, that will have to be looked at but that is dependent on the form of our other players.
"We are keen to see TK in the team and see how he can develop in this side. He has been patient, worked incredibly hard and been very professional which will only help him in the long run."