Bournemouth must adapt their style to let loan signing Juan Iturbe flourish, according to Eddie Howe.
Roma flop Iturbe is desperate to grind his career back on track with the Cherries, after failing to justify his £16million transfer from Verona in 2014.
Bournemouth held off strong interest from Watford to secure the 22-year-old Argentinian’s services, and now boss Howe has vowed the club can unlock his talents.
Iturbe struggled to impose himself on Saturday’s turnaround 2-1 FA Cup win at Portsmouth, but Howe insists his latest recruit will come good.
“It is very difficult to adjust, with the speed of that game, the physicality of that game at Portsmouth,” said Howe of Iturbe.
“The first half wasn’t something he was maybe used to. He did okay in flashes, nearly scored early on, and he’ll get better from this point.
“Juan’s talent is not in doubt, he’s an outstanding player. We need to get to know him better, and by that I mean that the players on the pitch need to give him the ball at the right time in the right areas.
“I still feel there’s an adjustment from our perspective to get the best out of him.
“Fitness-wise I think he needed that game too, so two games in a week will do him the world of good.”
Howe made 10 changes from Bournemouth’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Sunderland for the local derby, fourth-round cup clash with League Two men Portsmouth.
The hosts duly wrestled control, taking a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Gary Roberts’ well-worked strike.
But the 2008 FA Cup winners could not hold off the pace and power of Bournemouth’s bench, unleashed in the nick of time by Howe, on the hour.
Replacements Matt Ritchie and Marc Pugh turned the game, with Joshua King’s switch through the middle also adding bite, given Glenn Murray’s limited performance up to that point.
King’s flicked header levelled matters, before Pugh scrambled the winner, to leave Howe reasonably happy with the win.
“I had no hesitation making the changes – we need all our players fit and in form for the Premier League,” said Howe.