Jan 16 2013
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe praised his players following the narrow 1-0 defeat to Wigan in their FA Cup third-round replay.
A first-half strike from Mauro Boselli was enough to settle the close-fought tie in Wigan's favour, although the Barclays Premier League side had the woodwork to thank for preventing an upset as both Eunan O'Kane and Mark Pugh rattled the crossbar during the 90 minutes.
It is the first time Howe has tasted defeat since he returned as Cherries boss, a run of 18 matches, but the former Burnley manager was pleased with the effort from his side and he said: "I thought it was a really good game and Wigan showed us a lot of respect with the team they picked."
He added: "It was a strong team and we were slightly disappointed with our first-half performance.
"I think in the second half that all changed and we had a right go at Wigan and threw everything at them and, apart from their goalkeeper making some good saves and the woodwork, I think we would have deservedly forced extra-time.
"I think it was a really good effort from the players, we did not necessarily lose it and I think Wigan won it - if a team was going to beat us they were going to have to earn it."
Boselli's goal came courtesy of a mistake from Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter, who lost possession to the Argentina striker before he fired Wigan ahead. Wigan will now face a trip to Blue Square Premier outfit Macclesfield in round four but their manager Roberto Martinez was impressed by what he saw from a battling Bournemouth side.
"It was a very difficult game as we expected," he said. "We know that Bournemouth have been unbeaten and it doesn't matter at what level you do that at because you have got a very strong unit.
"I must admit Bournemouth deserve huge, huge credit over the two games in the manner they play football and I think it is going to bring real success to this football club.
"We knew that we had nothing to win today and had to be very professional; really, really strong and I couldn't be more proud of my players. When you make nine changes it is not easy."