Scott Parker full of praise for Bournemouth’s character at Carrow Road

Norwich City v AFC Bournemouth – Carabao Cup – Second Round – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Bournemouth boss Scott Parker praised the character of his young side as they twice came from behind before beating Norwich on penalties to reach the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Former Cherries loanee Todd Cantwell missed the decisive penalty in a tense shootout after Adam Idah thought he had marked a return from a six-month injury lay-off with a late winner off the bench, only for Brooklyn Genesini to pull Bournemouth level in stoppage time and secure a 2-2 draw.

Earlier, Emiliano Marcondes had cancelled out Jordan Hugill’s opener for the hosts as Angus Gunn shone in goal at Carrow Road.

Parker, who made nine changes to the side that was roundly beaten by Arsenal on Saturday evening, was pleased with what he saw from a largely inexperienced line-up.

“It was a good night, I thought the way we played tonight was fantastic,” he said.

“The game probably should have been out of sight, the ‘keeper was absolutely exceptional for them, pulled off some incredible saves and we have not done a lot wrong – he was making saves he didn’t have the right to do.

“We showed big character at the end, to go down 2-1 with a young team on the pitch.”

Parker had bemoaned a slow start against the Gunners but was happy with the response – albeit from a much-changed XI.

“You come to a place like this, difficult game, players that haven’t played a lot of minutes,” he added.

“My criticism of the group in the first-half performance, it was painful highlighting that and what we expect them to be this year and to a man today they put it out there, exactly what I wanted.”

Norwich boss Dean Smith, meanwhile, admitted his side would have been lucky to be in the third-round draw given the balance of play.

He said: “If we had gone through I would have said we were fortunate, they created the big chances in the game. We started OK but we looked young tonight, as we were young.

“Angus made two outstanding saves to keep us in it at times, they carved the better chances, they were probably a bit more potent in our half than we were in theirs.”

Smith also said he had no doubts over Cantwell’s confidence after his penalty hit the crossbar, the ex-Bournemouth midfielder the only player to miss in the shootout.

“That is one of them things,” he added.

“Anyone who has seen Todd in the first five or six games, they can see the attitude and application he is producing – he is enjoying his football again.”

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