Andoni Iraola urges Bournemouth to finish record-breaking season in style



Posted Monday, April 29, 2024 by PA

Andoni Iraola urges Bournemouth to finish record-breaking season in style

Andoni Iraola challenged his Bournemouth players to finish the season in style after they wrote themselves into Cherries history with a 3-0 win over Brighton.

Iraola’s in-form side won the battle for south-coast supremacy thanks to goals from Marcos Senesi, Enes Unal and Justin Kluivert.

Victory lifted Bournemouth into the top 10 and saw them break their record points haul in the top flight, surpassing the 46 they managed under Eddie Howe in 2016-17.

When Brighton won the reverse fixture at the end of September they moved up to third, while Bournemouth were still searching for their first win under Iraola.

But the Seagulls have now wilted to 12th, their European ambitions well and truly extinguished, while Bournemouth are proving to be the late-season bloomers.

“This group deserves to arrive at this point, especially after how we started, the players have been growing into the season,” said Iraola.

“It was a very complete performance, to play Brighton is very difficult and we were very disciplined.

“We are finishing strong, we are improving as a team and getting more players from the squad involved.

“We have to recover this week and try to get in the best spot to fight in some difficult games. We want to finish strongly. We have the club record, but the players want to keep pushing.”

Senesi headed Bournemouth ahead from a 13th-minute corner and Unal’s towering header doubled the lead after the break.

Simon Adingra forced a stunning save from Cherries keeper Mark Travers before Kluivert added the gloss with a late third.

The only downside was a knee injury suffered by Antoine Semenyo which forced the midfielder off on a stretcher in stoppage time.

“It looks bad. We will have to see how bad,” added Iraola.

It is now six matches without a win for Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton.

“Tough performance, tough result,” was the Italian’s verdict.

“We are sorry for the performance and for this moment, but we are not able to give our best and our best is not enough to compete in the Premier League.

“It can happen in football to lose the motivation to reach a target. We need to find the energy to finish the season in a different way. I’m suffering a lot. We have to stop this moment quickly.”

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