Written by Frankie Rudland (@RudlandFrankie)
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe backed Bournemouth’s 4-0 triumph over Chelsea to launch the Cherries into a ‘new feeling’ as they prepare to face relegation threatened Cardiff City on Saturday.
Following a recent slump in form Bournemouth look as if they may well be back on track after collecting their first back-to-back Premier League wins since October thanks to a 4-0 demolition of Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.
The Cherries demonstrated the undeniable quality that they posses in their playing squad as they tore Chelsea apart with waves of pulsating counter-attacking football.
Yet despite such a positive display Howe insisted that his side must now endeavour to translate more of their positive performances to points as they head into a tough period of fixtures: “We have some tough games on the horizon, but I think they always are in the Premier League, I never see an easy schedule. I think the win against Chelsea will hopefully launch us into a new feeling, that we can compete against the top six.
“I think we have done that this year in terms of performances, but our results have let us down, so hopefully the Chelsea game will be a turning point now where our results match our performances. But first and foremost, it’s Cardiff.”
Howe’s men face an altogether different task as they travel to Cardiff for tomorrow’s late kick-off, the Welsh outfit have often mirrored Bournemouth’s failures to capitalise on good spells this season and subsequently reside in 18th place with the worst home defensive record in the league.
However, Howe refuses to underestimate the hurdle that Cardiff present.
“Their journey to the Premier League has been based on ability, hard work and togetherness, all the things that we have here.
“Watching them play they’ve done very well and had some great results, so we need to be prepared for a very tough game.”
The Bluebirds return to home soil for the first time since the disappearance of January signing Emiliano Sala in what promises to be an emotional occasion for Neil Warnock’s men and Cardiff City fans alike, and Howe believes it’s an occasion that all football fans can share in: “It’s an incredibly sad situation and for us we just want to send our best wishes to Emiliano’s family, Cardiff City, the supporters and everyone connected with the club.
“The impact is huge and there’s so many things around football clubs such as tragedies and difficulties and it’s then when the football clubs unite together and supporters, players and everybody connected with the clubs share in that moment and it’s one of the beauties of football.”
Howe confirmed that top scorer Callum Wilson will again miss out following minor knee surgery, whilst summer signing Jefferson Lerma will have to beat late fitness test if he is to feature. In-form David Brooks is likely to line up for Bournemouth after an injury scare that saw him hobble off after 68-minutes against Chelsea.
Cardiff will be without defender Sean Morrison and Bournemouth loanee Harry Arter as he is ineligible to play against his parent club. Neil Warnock may also be set to hand deadline-day signing Leandro Bacuna his debut for this club after securing his services from Championship club Reading.
Bournemouth take on Cardiff City at the Cardiff City stadium on Saturday 2nd of February at 5.30pm.