by Jonathan Nagioff (@JonathanNagioff)
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has urged his players to remain vigilant and not to let the occasion get the better of them, when they travel to Wembley Stadium to face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The Cherries sit 19th in the Premier League table, struggling for form, but will be looking to pick up their first away win of the season against third placed Spurs, who have only lost once this season.
Howe, who celebrated the 5th anniversary of his return to the South Coast side this week, believes that his side are improving despite their precarious position in the division.
Speaking at his pre-match conference ahead of the game, Howe told the media: “We have to treat as if ‘we’re playing Tottenham’ and prepare to play Tottenham, not the venue, or the stadium.
“I feel we’re almost there in terms of getting consistent results.
“I feel the performances have been much improved.
“Scoring goals has been a slight problem for us which is so unlike us.
“I’m a firm believer if you keep doing the right things you will get your rewards in the end.”
If the Cherries are to leave North London with three points they must contain England striker Harry Kane, who has been firing on all cylinders this season.
The 24-year-old already has 15 goals to his name for club and country and has punished Bournemouth on 6 previous occasions.
Howe insists that his side must keep the talisman quiet at the national stadium: “I have obviously watched Harry closely in the last few weeks and his performances have been outstanding.
“But we kept Jamie Vardy quiet, who is another good striker, in our last game and if we can do that again then we will be happy.”
Howe is not lacking attacking options himself, with Callum Wilson not far away from first team contention after scoring twice for the under 21s earlier this week.
But the international break did no injury favours for the club, with Brad Smith, Ryan Fraser and Joshua King all returning with knocks, some more serious than others.
Howe confirmed that Smith picked up a “nasty” injury to his hip whilst playing for Australia and will be out for an extended period, although Fraser and King’s injuries are viewed as more likely to be short term, with the latter potentially featuring on Saturday.
However, the manager has plenty of options in the midfield area, particularly with the emergence of Lewis Cook who has impressed Howe this season.
He told the Bournemouth Rock: “I’ve been really impressed with Lewis. He did a lot of work behind the scenes last year in terms of building his knowledge of how we play. And this season he’s got his rewards for that.
“The Carabao Cup games he was very impressive and against Leicester he carried that form on.”
The Cherries face Spurs at 3pm on Saturday.