Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has claimed that Tottenham are the "best team" they have faced this season after Spurs beat the Cherries 3-0 on Sunday (20 March) to cut Leicester's lead at the top of the Premier League to five points with seven games to go. The boss, nevertheless, was disappointed with his side performance at White Hart Lane as he believes the Cherries "were nowhere near" the standards they have showed throw the campaign.
Spurs have secured two confortable victories against the mid-table side this season, beating them 5-1 away earlier in October and replicating it on Sunday with a 3-0 victory to keep alive their hopes to win the Premier League. Harry Kane, who scored a hat trick at Bournemouth, opened the score after just 44 seconds before netting again 14 minutes later. Bournemouth tried to react in the second-half but instead conceded a third goal from Christian Eriksen.
"This game is a way of telling us we have work to do and we can look at this to become the best team we can be in the long term," Howe said. "No disrespect to anyone else but in our eyes they're the best team we've played, they're someone for us to look at to try to emulate."
Howe admitted that Bournemouth are still far from Tottenham in terms of quality but believes his side performance was below their usual standards anyway.
"We were well off it in the first-half in particular," Howe explained. "We were nowhere near our normal standards, the early goal contributed to that but we fell short. It was disappointing, the early goal hurt us badly.
"In the second-half we gave it a right go, we tried to get back into it, but the third goal killed the game. We came here full of confidence knowing we were facing a good side, but we didn't deliver - with and without the ball we were poor.
"There's a lot we can take from them though. It can be a really good learning tool for us as they are an impressive side and we need to learn from it to continue developing."