Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe praised the spirit his players, after calling Saturday's 2-2 draw against Newcastle United a 'strange day'.

The Cherries started the game poorly, being two goals behind at half-time following a close range brace from Dwight Gayle, before a late rally in the final 10 minutes thanks to Adam Smith and Dan Gosling goals to rescue his side a point.

Speaking post-match to Sky Sports, Howe said: "We have to be satisfied with the point we have. It's been a strange afternoon because for a long spell of the game, we weren't what we wanted to be and at 2-0 down, it looked like a long way back.

"But credit to the players, we found something, changed the system, changed players and for 20 minutes, we looked like the team we want to be on a more consistent basis. At the end there, I thought we were going to win the game.

"We did struggle to create chances and we weren't ourselves. In the end, I have to praise the spirit of the players."

The draw for Bournemouth sees them drop to 11th in the Premier League with 32 points, a mere five points off Swansea in 18th. 

Howe, who received the manager of the month award for January following two wins against Arsenal and Chelsea and two draws against Brighton and West Brom in the league has challenged his side to start strongly in the future and stop shipping early goals.

He said: "In the last few games, we've conceded early. We conceded against Stoke, Huddersfield and the same again today.

"In the Premier League, when you give yourself a mountain to climb, it is a long way back in games. In two out of those three games, we've come back and got something but the challenge I'm going to lay down to the players is to start better obviously and try and go the other way."

Next for the Cherries in the Premier League is a trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City in a weeks' time.