Monday 18 December 2017

No sympathy for David Moyes from Eddie Howe

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is focusing on getting the best out his team when they head to relegation-battlers Sunderland
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is focusing on getting the best out his team when they head to relegation-battlers Sunderland

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will not allow himself any sympathy for under-fire Sunderland boss David Moyes when he looks to push his own team closer to Premier League safety with victory at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats slumped to a seventh defeat out of the past nine matches when beaten 1-0 at fellow relegation battlers Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.

With Sunderland 12 points adrift of safety with just 15 to play for, they could be consigned to the Sky Bet Championship if they do not beat Bournemouth and results elsewhere also go against them.

While the spotlight may be firmly on Moyes and his future with the north east club, Howe insists he can only worry about getting the Cherries closer to securing their own top-flight status once again. They are currently on 38 points, seven clear of the scrap for survival.

"My focus is always on us and our team and players, making sure we are at our very best," Howe said at a press conference, reported on the club's official website.

"It is difficult to have sympathy with an opposition manager until after the game as the focus is so much on your team."

Howe added: "W e are not safe until it is mathematically done. We would love to get over 40 points this weekend, that is the one every one talks about, then we can move on from there.

"It is about continuing our progression and momentum, but it will be a difficult game, any away game in the Premier League is tough, so we will not be underestimating Sunderland.

"I have seen many amazing things in football, so our mentality has to be to go out against a tough side fighting for their lives.

"While there is hope for Sunderland, they will keep going, especially with their manager and the challenges he has faced in his career."

Bournemouth avoided a third straight defeat when they thumped Middlesbrough 4-0 last weekend.

Howe hopes his team can now produce a positive end to the campaign.

"We have been slightly more inconsistent than we would have liked, but I see progression in the team and we're going the right way," he said.

"I am proud of how the players have adapted to the Premier League."

Goalkeeper Artur Boruc, meanwhile, has seen his contract extended until summer 2018 after triggering an appearance-related clause.

The 37-year-old former Poland stopper has played in all but two Premier League matches this season, with eight clean sheets, after joining from Southampton following a successful loan spell.

Howe said: "Artur has been in great form of late and he was crucial for us in the Championship, transferring that into the Premier League.

"He has been an extremely consistent performer, Artur has won us points this season and had such a big impact for us."

Press Association

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