10 Mar Eddie Howe confident Bournemouth will round off a miserable week for Tottenham
Manager Eddie Howe has challenged Bournemouth to once again find the “immense” effort needed both on and off the pitch to get the better of Tottenham on Sunday.
The Cherries host a Spurs side looking to maintain their push for a top-four finish – and one smarting from a midweek Champions League exit against Juventus.
Bournemouth have made full use of their compact Vitality Stadium since reaching the top flight for the first time to produce some memorable home results.
Howe knows it will take something similar to the display which saw off Arsenal 2-1 in January if his side are to make it a week to forget for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
“Being at home, we have to focus on ourselves. The run of form for us has been very strong and we have beaten some big teams here,” the Bournemouth boss said.
“If we can get that mix when we play very well here, the crowd get behind us and we make it difficult for opposing teams, then we are capable of beating anybody here.
“I always think this is a tough place to come, if I was an opposing manager preparing my team to play here – the crowd are involved, the stadium is tight, usually with a very good atmosphere.
“They are not nice environments to play in when you are an opposing team.
“Our style of play is intense, it is quick – we have to execute that right, and when we have done that, we have been tough to play against, when we don’t, there is a chance we might lose.
“A very good start in this match will be crucial to get the crowd involved.”
Bournemouth may have the smallest attendance of any Premier League club at just 11,450, but Howe feels that can work to their advantage.
“The supporters are a huge part of when we play here because they are so close to the pitch,” he said at a press conference, as broadcast on the club’s official website.
“They have always been like an extra man for us, in certain matches they have pulled us over the line.
“When you play games like this, any game at home, to create a good atmosphere for our players to thrive in is so, so important.”
Howe is determined to focus on “all the positives” from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Leicester, despite the frustration of being denied a hard-earned victory deep into injury time by a fine free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.
“We feel like we are on a really good run, from Christmas time really, we have got some good wins, dug out some good draws and we have limited our losses,” Howe said.
“In this division, that is absolutely massive to continue to pick up points and we are now into another crucial phase.”