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Saturday 21 October 2017

Eddie Howe ready for another testing encounter against Tottenham

Eddie Howe is expecting a tough test against Tottenham
Eddie Howe is expecting a tough test against Tottenham

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes his side have to be "very aggressive" if they are going to get another positive result against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

The Cherries suffered a first defeat in six games when beaten 3-1 by Premier League leaders Chelsea last weekend.

Spurs, meanwhile, kept themselves within striking distance after sweeping aside Watford 4-0 in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off for a sixth straight league win.

Howe has been impressed by the progress of Mauricio Pochettino's squad, but believes his players can use the battling goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium in October as inspiration for the challenge ahead.

"I knew how good a performance that was, it was not just the result itself," the Bournemouth boss said.

"We were very good, very aggressive, we looked solid. Keeping a clean sheet is a real achievement against Tottenham, with how they have played this season, and late in the game we could potentially have got more.

"We are going to need to match that if not surpass it (at White Hart Lane), so we are going to look for a similar type of performance.

"We have a game plan, as for every match, where we review the team we are playing and come up with a plan which we think can make us competitive, and then it is up to the players to execute it."

Bournemouth are currently in 15th place and seven points clear of Swansea, who occupy the final relegation slot.

Howe added: "We know we are running out of games to get the points we need, so are scrapping for everything as we look to surpass last season's total of 42."

Despite being beaten by Chelsea, Howe believes the confidence of his players should not have been dented as they prepare for what he feels will be another stern test against one of the Premier League's most clinical teams.

"We are in a tough run of games, so to have a good run of form in those (fixtures) was really powerful for us," Howe said at a press conference.

"Chelsea was a difficult game for us, but I thought we were competitive despite the fact we lost.

"Now we go to Tottenham, which is arguably one of the hardest games of the season, their form has been very good at home, even last season I thought with Man City they were our toughest opponents.

"If you make any mistakes they will punish you, if we are not quite in full flow."

Spurs finished third last season, falling away as Leicester clinched an unexpected title and Arsenal took advantage to end as runners-up.

Pochettino's side, though, have continued their progress into 2017 and Howe feels it is only a matter of time before Spurs' efforts are rewarded.

"They are certainly going in the right direction, I was very impressed with them last season, and if anything I am more impressed with them this season which is a real achievement," Howe added.

"They have a young squad, an outstanding manager and are progressing and improving together which gives them a great chance of long-term success, so the future looks bright for them."

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