Howe warns Bournemouth not safe yet

Eddie Howe has stressed Bournemouth are not safe just yet, while Middlesbrough boss Steve Agnew saw little reason for optimism.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has warned his side are not clear of relegation danger just yet, despite beating Middlesbrough 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Early goals from Joshua King and Benik Afobe handed Bournemouth a comfortable lead, before Middlesbrough were reduced to 10 men when Gaston Ramirez was dismissed in the 20th minute.

Marc Pugh and Charlie Daniels then struck after the break to seal the win for Howe's men, sending them seven points clear of the drop zone with four games left to play.

Howe, however, is not taking anything for granted.

"We need more points until safety is mathematically secured," Howe told reporters.

"But it was a great performance from us, an electric start. We were dominant in the early stages.

"When you consider the importance of the game, the early goal gave us a huge lift and dented their confidence. Luckily we did not rest on that and got the second goal.

"I am pleased to see the two strikers contributing goals. It is a good base to build your team around.

"It was trademark Pugh, intricate wide play. He has a lot of quality, highlighted by his goal."

Middlesbrough boss Steve Agnew, meanwhile, feels his side's poor start effectively cost them the game and urged his men to bounce back in the upcoming clash with Sunderland.

"We lost the game in the first period. We defended really poorly for two goals and gave ourselves a difficult afternoon," Agnew told BBC. 

"We are all disappointed with the defending and the way we conceded early goals.

"We were 2-0 down away from home and it becomes very difficult after the red card. We have to stay in the game but that made it tough. Once you have a yellow, you have to be careful.

"We have to go and beat Sunderland on Wednesday and move on from there. It has been a tough few months, certainly since our last win. We have to regroup and be ready for the Sunderland game."

Middlesbrough remain 19th in the table following Saturday's result, but are now nine points away from safety with five games left.

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