EPL

Andoni Iraola admits he has to prove his reputation as Bournemouth struggle

By Sports Desk October 07, 2023

Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola admits it is worrying already being in the bottom three and accepts a winless start to the season means he has “not done his homework”.

The 3-0 defeat at Everton leaves the Cherries without a victory in eight matches, their worst start to a league season since the 1994-95 campaign in the third tier when they picked up just a point from the same number of games.

Blame cannot all be placed at Iraola’s door, with the club’s record run without a win now stretching to 12 matches, but having been brought in this summer to replace Gary O’Neil – the man who kept them up against the odds – the responsibility is with the man from the Basque country.

“When you are in the relegation spots like we are now we have to be worried,” he said.

“You talk about the good reputation (he has) but I have to show it. The only thing you can do is start with yourself.

“We haven’t won games so I’m not doing my homework but I feel like players are pushing and are really disappointed and I am more than happy to coach the players I have here.

“We are conceding too easy goals and they are taking us from the games. We have to keep the concentration for 100 minutes otherwise it is very difficult.

“I think the first goal took a little bit of confidence, especially in the build-up.

“It is too easy a goal to concede and it was key today because it gives them confidence and momentum.

“When you are facing this type of game it is very important you start well. The way we conceded, especially the first goal, it turned things around.”

The first goal was unusual, coming as early as it did in just the eighth minute from James Garner, but what was really rare was that it was added to by Jack Harrison on his full home debut and Abdoulaye Doucoure – who scored the goal against Bournemouth back in May which kept Everton in the Premier League.

It was the first time since October 22 last year that the Toffees had scored more than once at home and brought a first Goodison win of the season.

After a number of encouraging but fruitless performances at home, manager Sean Dyche was pleased to at last get one over the line and comfortably so.

“I’m not saying it is a complete performance but it is a very good one and certainly a winning performance,” he said after a third win in four matches in all competitions.

“The signs have been there all season. The first game of the season we dominated proceedings, dominated chances and we just didn’t win.

“It’s about winning; the more you win the more people smile. The difference is when we win the noise changes.

“They were very good against Luton (despite losing 2-1 last weekend) and I have to see through the noise and remind the players of good performances.

“But also remind them good performances mean nothing unless you win.

“You can carry on with good performances all season but if you don’t win people lose faith in good performances.

“That just rubber-stamps another good performance by getting the win with another dominant performance.

“The xG (at three-plus) is as high as it’s been in the last eight years but you have to capitalise on it.

“Today we didn’t wait for it to happen, we stepped up and made it happen and that has to be a mindset that continues.

“It is not easy but that us is one we want to keep growing.”

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