Howe: Bournemouth won’t devalue the FA Cup

Date published: Friday 8th January 2016 2:45

Eddie Howe: Praised his players

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says he will not devalue the FA Cup despite making changes ahead of facing Birmingham in the third round on Saturday.

The Cherries have rotated their squad in Cup competitions for a number of years and Howe believes it is something which has worked well for the club.

Howe said: “We will make changes, if you look at our philosophy in the cup games in recent seasons it has been that really, we have rotated our squad.

“We have used the players who haven’t had as many opportunities that they would have liked and it is a really big window for them to come in and show what they can do.

“We have had success with that format as well, we have been pretty consistent in the games that we’ve had so it will be a good opportunity.

“We want to win the game, there is no thought for us that we don’t want to progress, I think winning is a habit and we want to maintain our recent good form so we are going to Birmingham to try and win.”

Bournemouth did the double over Birmingham in the Championship last season before getting promoted, including an 8-0 win over a manager-less side at St Andrews but the 38-year-old manager is not focusing on that result ahead of their FA Cup third round clash.

“It was a one-off win, yes we enjoyed the day immensely, we have had days where the fortunes have been reversed so they are good memories but no thoughts on that game going into this,” Howe said.

“They are a totally different team, Gary (Rowett) has come in and done a superb job and I think that was one of the last games before Gary came in.

“They are one of the contenders to get promoted into the Premier League and that is full credit to Gary and his staff.”

Bournemouth will be without captain and defender Simon Francis after his red card appeal was rejected by the FA.

The 30-year-old was sent off for a tackle on Jamie Vardy during their 0-0 draw with Leicester last weekend and Howe was surprised by the FA’s decision.

He said: “I was surprised because we wouldn’t have appealed if we didn’t believe that there was a very good case for Simon getting off but there was always an element of chance that the referee would uphold his decision.

“For me it is one of the best tackles you will see all season and for that to be called a foul by the officials is a shame because it is taking tackling away from the game and I think that is one of the most beautiful arts in it.”

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