Hartlepool United v Bournemouth: Howe hails Pugh role

Ahead of a League Cup clash between Bournemouth and Hartlepool United, Eddie Howe has moved to praise attacker Marc Pugh.

Marc Pugh, who scored as Bournemouth picked up their first Premier League win at West Ham on Saturday, was in the starting XI the last time the club met Hartlepool United in a league fixture.

The sides clash in the League Cup second round on Tuesday and - since Bournemouth picked up a 2-1 win at Victoria Park in League One in January 2013 - the sides have experienced vastly differing fortunes.

While Bournemouth have ascended to the top flight, Hartlepool narrowly avoided relegation from the Football League last season.

And, after Pugh contributed to an historic day for Bournemouth on Saturday, manager Eddie Howe has hailed the attacker's wider contribution since arriving from Hereford United in 2010, when the club had just won promotion from League Two.

"When we signed Marc from Hereford, I think there were a few gulps in the boardroom because we had no money at the time and it was a massive signing for the football club," Howe told the Daily Echo.

"But we really backed the player because we had seen him first-hand against us. He destroyed us in one game and I think every penny was well spent.

"With every challenge he has been given during his time here, he has responded positively, improved and grown, just as the club has.

"I think his attitude off the pitch epitomises everything we stand for and he deserves the accolade of having scored in the top five divisions - you've never met a more dedicated, nice guy.

"He was left out of the starting XI against Liverpool and West Ham but took those decisions like a man and showed he was a true team player.

"When someone of that attitude goes on to do so well when given the chance, it pleases me no end, so congratulations go to him."

After opening the season with four consecutive victories in all competitions, Hartlepool lost 2-0 at Stevenage on Saturday.