May 11, 2018 / 9:52 AM / 11 days ago

Soccer: Howe seeks more consistency from slow-starting Cherries

(Reuters) - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe expects the side to improve next season after the Cherries flirted with a relegation battle early in the campaign before securing a mid-table finish with a strong run of results after the turn of the year.

Soccer Football - Premier League - AFC Bournemouth vs Swansea City - Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, Britain - May 5, 2018 Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe during a lap of honour after the match REUTERS/David Klein

The south coast club, currently 12th in the standings on 41 points, have failed to fulfil Howe’s pre-season target of eclipsing last season’s record tally of 46 points but the manager remains satisfied with his team’s effort.

“I still feel there was more that we wanted to do this year but ultimately we’ll look back and think it was a successful campaign,” Howe told a news conference on Friday.

“We got there in the end, and I think there’s room for improvement for next year. The league feels as if it has been very tight. Of course, the frustration from my point of view is that we want to be more consistent.”

Howe believes that the close-season transfer window will be crucial to changing the club’s fortunes next campaign.

“We’re going to need to be active in the market,” he added.

“I think we’ve seen an emergence of some really important young players for us this season. I think they’ll be important for our future... I think it’s very important that the team continues to evolve.

“I only want to add quality additions. It’s not about numbers for me. It’s about trying to improve the squad and the team with the resources we’ll be given. That’s never an easy thing to do.”

Bournemouth are aiming to end the season on a high note with a win in their final league game against Burnley on Sunday.

“We’re taking the game at Burnley very seriously. We want to finish as high as we can for personal pride. They’ve been very impressive this season,” Howe said.

The Cherries’ long-term absentees Adam Smith (knee), Harry Arter (Achilles) and Junior Stanislas (knee) have been ruled out of the trip to seventh-placed Burnley.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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