Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Task cut out for Eddie Howe as Bournemouth face relegation battle

Cherries have lost their last three matches and face Crystal Palace on Tuesday

Bournemouth's manager Eddie Howe. EPA
Bournemouth's manager Eddie Howe. EPA

Bournemouth have just one win from eight games but manager Eddie Howe said his team has not done a lot wrong during the ongoing relegation battle.

Bournemouth visit Crystal Palace on Tuesday having lost their last three games, placing them just four points clear of the bottom three.

But Howe refused to worry too much about the results, urging his players to be more consistency as they look to stop the slide.

“In the four seasons that we’ve managed to stay in the Premier League, I think in those four seasons they have been a relegation battle, it’s just we’ve managed to keep our heads above the line in all of those seasons,” the 42-year-old said.

“In other people’s eyes from the outside you go, ‘that's quite comfortable’.

“The reality is it’s always been very tight and we’ve just managed to get a big result when we’ve needed it, we’ve managed to always stick together through the difficult periods and this season is going to be no different.

“I don’t think there’s a lot wrong with the team, I think we’re in pretty good shape but we have to be more consistent throughout the games.

“There have been slight inconsistencies that have ended up costing us the games, so we have to put a complete performance together, starting tomorrow.”

Despite the form of his team, Howe continues to get linked to other jobs. When asked about a possible move to Everton should Marco Silva be sacked, Howe said: “It’s not right in any way for me to comment on that. I’m working hard here now to get a result tomorrow, so with the run of form we’re in, I find that not the right question to answer.”

Howe offered his condolences to former Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe following the death of his daughter. Afobe, who played for the team between 2016 and 2018, announced on Sunday that two-year-old Amora had died on Friday following an infection.

"It’s tragic news for Benik, [partner] Lois, and the whole Afobe family. Knowing them as well as I do, we really feel their pain and share their pain,” said Howe.

Bournemouth will have captain Simon Francis and midfielder Philip Billing back from one-match suspensions at Selhurst Park. Cherries winger Harry Wilson is pushing for a start after scoring twice as a substitute against Tottenham and full-back Adam Smith could return from illness but forward Joshua King is not expected to overcome a hamstring injury in time.

Updated: December 2, 2019 06:52 PM

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