Cherries pick off Forest in style
AMBITIOUS boss Eddie Howe believes ‘anything is possible’ for improving Bournemouth as they aim to build on a record-breaking Championship season.
The Cherries signed off their home campaign in emphatic style by running riot at Dean Court.
Impressive strike duo Yann Kermorgant and Lewis Grabban netted two goals apiece as Bournemouth did enough to confirm the highest league placing in their history with a game to spare.
Howe’s emerging outfit have won many admirers for their attractive brand of football and they are now likely to be viewed as genuine playoff contenders next term.
Asked what Bournemouth could achieve Howe said: “Who knows? Anything is possible. That is a motto we have used in recent months.
“My brief is to make sure we come back better than we were this time last season and at this moment. My brief is also to push the players on to new targets and goals because the moment you stand still in this game, you go backwards.”
Howe was recently voted Bournemouth’s greatest manager and he added:“I don’t think we are going to put a label on where we want to get to. It is a case of improving and making sure we come back better prepared and making sure the lads look after themselves in pre-season and come back firing again.
“Going into the season, people didn’t expect a lot from us but, now, people are talking about us.”
While Bournemouth had been ruled out of the play-off race ahead of this match, Forest saw their chances disappear as a result of their chastening defeat.
And caretaker manager Gary Brazil said: “Bournemouth were a lot better than us and deserved the win.
“I have no complaints at all. We were well organised and they did not really hurt us (in the early stages) but to concede just before half-time was really disappointing.
“Bournemouth were a well organised, settled team.There is a philosophy here that you have to admire. We wanted to take it to the final game but it is our fault that we didn’t.”
Following back-to-back victories over Easter, Forest needed a win to realistically stay in the race having defiantly fought back since the Billy Davies’ exit.
However, the visitors rarely looked likely to return from the south coast with their desired outcome as Bournemouth were slick and accomplished.
Dominating possession from the outset and only kept at bay by Forest’s dogged organisation in the early stages, Bournemouth persistently knocked on the door.
After a number of near misses, Bournemouth’s neat build-up play eventually got its reward when right-back Simon Francis delivered a lovely cross for Kermorgant to head home.
The interval failed to interrupt the Cherries’ tempo and they wasted no time in doubling their lead through topscorer Grabban.
Greg Halford leapt highest to give Forest hope but that proved short-lived. Grabban converted from the penalty spot after sGonzalo Jara tripped Marc Pugh before Kemorgant completed the win with a superb finish.
SPOT ON: Lewis Grabban bags his second and Bournemouth’s third from the penalty spot
scores OPENER: Yann Kermorgant