Howe con­fi­dent Bournemout­h will stop the slide to­wards rel­e­ga­tion

The National - News - - SPORT | FOOTBALL -

Bournemout­h have just one win from eight games but man­ager Ed­die Howe said his team has not done a lot wrong dur­ing the on­go­ing rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

Bournemout­h visit Crys­tal Palace tonight hav­ing lost their last three games, plac­ing them just four points clear of the bot­tom three.

But Howe re­fused to worry too much about the re­sults, urg­ing his play­ers to be more con­sis­tency as they look to stop the slide. “In the four sea­sons that we’ve man­aged to stay in the Premier League, I think in those four sea­sons they have been a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle, it’s just we’ve man­aged to keep our heads above the line in all of those sea­sons,” the man­ager, 42, said.

“In other peo­ple’s eyes from the out­side you go, ‘that’s quite com­fort­able’.

“The re­al­ity is it’s al­ways been very tight and we’ve just man­aged to get a big re­sult when we’ve needed it, we’ve man­aged to al­ways stick to­gether through the dif­fi­cult pe­ri­ods and this sea­son is go­ing to be no dif­fer­ent.

“I don’t think there’s a lot wrong with the team, I think we’re in pretty good shape but we have to be more con­sis­tent through­out the games.

“There have been slight in­con­sis­ten­cies that have ended up cost­ing us the games, so we have to put a com­plete per­for­mance to­gether, start­ing to­mor­row.”

De­spite the form of his team, Howe con­tin­ues to get linked to other jobs.

When asked about a pos­si­ble move to Ever­ton should Marco Silva be sacked, Howe said: “It’s not right in any way for me to com­ment on that.

“I’m work­ing hard here now to get a re­sult to­mor­row, so with the run of form we’re in, I find that not the right ques­tion to an­swer.”

Howe of­fered his con­do­lences to for­mer Bournemout­h striker Benik Afobe fol­low­ing the death of his daugh­ter. Afobe, who played for the team be­tween 2016 and 2018, an­nounced on Sun­day that twoyear-old Amora had died on Fri­day fol­low­ing an in­fec­tion.

“It’s tragic news for Benik, [part­ner] Lois, and the whole Afobe fam­ily.

“Know­ing them as well as I do, we re­ally feel their pain and share their pain,” Howe said.

Bournemout­h will have cap­tain Simon Fran­cis and mid­fielder Philip Billing back from one-match sus­pen­sions at Sel­hurst Park.

Cher­ries winger Harry Wil­son is push­ing for a start af­ter scor

ing twice as a sub­sti­tute against Tot­ten­ham and full-back Adam Smith could re­turn from ill­ness but for­ward Joshua King is not ex­pected to over­come a ham­string in­jury in time.

Palace man­ager Roy Hodg­son de­clared Ma­madou Sakho fit to start, and the French­man’s re­turn could not be more timely with the Ea­gles fac­ing a de­fen­sive cri­sis.

Al­ready de­nied the ser­vices of Joel Ward (knee), Scott Dann (an­kle) and Gary Cahill (knee), Hodg­son said he had no con­cerns over play­ing Sakho af­ter the French­man ap­peared as a sec­ond-half sub­sti­tute in Satur­day’s 2-0 win over Burn­ley as a re­place­ment for Dann.

“He’s had to wait for his chance, but he has played a game for the Un­der-23s, played on Satur­day for a con­sid­er­able pe­riod in the sec­ond half, so I have no fears about his fit­ness.

De­spite poor re­sults re­cently for Bournemout­h, man­ager Ed­die Howe’s name is be­ing touted for a job at Ever­ton Reuters

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