Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: Title contenders will feel the pressure
Published 19/03/2016 | 13:06
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes now is the time the Barclays Premier League title challengers will really go under the microscope, as his team head to second-placed Tottenham aiming to secure their own top-flight ambitions.
The Cherries travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday having pulled clear of the relegation battle, with 38 points a tally which could well already be more than enough to keep them up.
Spurs, meanwhile, have their sights firmly set on the championship, but come kick-off could trail leaders Leicester by eight points should the Foxes win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Arsenal can close up to within three points if they record a victory at Everton.
Despite many believing the title is now Leicester's to lose, Howe feels there could yet be a few twists and turns to come over the final eight matches.
"It looks increasingly difficult for any of the other teams to bridge the gap, but it will depend on the Leicester and Tottenham's form from here on in and it will be interesting to see what happens when the pressure gets a bit more intense, it really does, with the game starting running out," Howe said at a press conference.
"The microscope gets even close up on both clubs, a lot can happen for both clubs and I don't think it's foregone conclusion.
"But the furthest thing from my mind is who is going to win the Premier League, it is about making sure Bournemouth train well every day and comply to maximum level.
"Hurting title ambitions is not really in our mind, it is about us and making sure we have all got our job done.
"We still feel we have more points to get, we have got some hard work to do.
"This will be a really tough game, but we are just after Bournemouth's interests, no one else's."
Bournemouth were well beaten 5-1 at home by Spurs in October.
Howe hopes Sunday's rematch will provide a yardstick to see how his men have developed, pulling clear of trouble following three successive wins in a four-game unbeaten run.
"I was really impressed with their work ethic and of course they have the ability to complement that, so it's a good mix," Howe said.
"Their manager has done an outstanding job, they have a young talented squad so the future is bright for them
"From our point of view, the game will provide a good chance to see how far we have come and improved over the season."