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Thursday 22 February 2018

Struggling Sunderland won't be pushovers, says Cherries boss Howe

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is not expecting an easy ride against Premier League strugglers Sunderland
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is not expecting an easy ride against Premier League strugglers Sunderland

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will not underestimate Sunderland when the Premier League strugglers come to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Black Cats head to the south coast without a win in 10 league matches, with the pressure mounting on boss David Moyes.

Despite his own side's decent run of just one defeat in the past five games, which came at Middlesbrough last weekend, Howe is not expecting anything other than a stern test when they tackle a Sunderland side who were demolished 4-1 at home by Arsenal.

"You are going to get the cliches from me, but the Premier League is a very difficult league , there are no easy games," Howe said at a press conference.

"We are coming up against a very experienced manager with a good set of players, so there will be no underestimating for us, it is going to be a tough game."

Moyes will serve a touchline ban on Saturday after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct after being sent off late in the EFL Cup defeat to Southampton.

There have been suggestions the former Everton and Manchester United manager could face the sack if his team again fail to produce a positive result this weekend.

Howe said: " We are all under pressure to get results, it is a very demanding job. I am no different , and no other manager is different.

"The big thing I can say is things change week on week. It is such a volatile and unpredictable job that it can be very difficult."

Bournemouth have been able to produce consistent performances at home this season, beating West Brom and Everton, thrashing Hull 6-1 and then holding Tottenham to a goalless draw in their previous matches at Dean Court.

Howe said: " Last season we were really good way from home and took some great results, this year it has not quite clicked.

"At home, we have built on the good start we have had and are full of confidence."

Bournemouth, who lie 10th, could move above south-coast rivals Southampton, who are not in action until Sunday following their Europa League win over Inter Milan.

While Howe has no interest in securing bragging rights, the Cherries boss sees no reason why a club which not so long ago was down in League One should not be "thinking big".

"It is just about the challenge of winning and trying to push this team up the table," said Howe, who spent most of his playing career with Bournemouth.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but we don't want to put a ceiling on what we can achieve.

"We are thinking big, we want to be very positive and attack every game

"I believe we have the quality in the squad to do really well this season, but is still early days."

Howe confirmed defender Rhoys Wiggins was set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered in his first start of a loan spell at Birmingham. He collided with Aston Villa substitute Rudy Gestede late in last weekend's derby.

"It seems serious, so he has seen a specialist and has been booked in for an operation. We will give him all the support we can," Howe said.

Press Association

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