Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe refuses to crumble under selection pressure


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Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe insists he will not be forced into playing his strongest starting XI ahead of his team’s Carabao Cup clash against Birmingham City on Tuesday night.

The Cherries will travel to St Andrews on the back of back-to-back defeats in the Premier League against West Bromwich Albion and Watford.

Howe’s men suffered early exits in the EFL Cup and FA Cup last season and Howe was criticised for dropping several first-team stars.

His approach allowed the majority of his squad to stay fresh for their Premier League battles and it worked to perfection as Bournemouth finished ninth in the top flight last season.

Striker Jermain Defoe is set to lead the line against the Blues but Howe insists he is under no pressure to put out a strong team.

He told the Daily Echo: “I am certainly not going to bow to pressure from anybody to do anything other than what is right for us.

When I say that, what I mean is developing young players, giving an opportunity to our squad.

“Everyone cries out in this country for more chances for young players to play and, when you do play them and rotate the team, you get criticised for it.

“Sometimes, when you are in this seat, you are in a no-win situation but I will do what is right for Bournemouth and take the consequences.”

Birmingham are 3.40 to win the match, with the draw 3.50, while the Cherries are 2.15 to win and progress into the next round.

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