by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has admitted he is aware of the importance of this weekend’s game against newly-promoted Huddersfield, and has said that the run of fixtures in December will decide the Cherries’ fate.
David Wagner’s Terriers have had an impressive start to their campaign back in England’s top flight, and currently sit in tenth place. With impressive victories over Manchester United and West Brom helping steer the newly promoted club away from a relegation scrap, Eddie Howe has said that his team won’t be taking the fixture lightly.
He explained: “When you looked at Huddersfield play last year, they’re going to be a dangerous team to play against. I think the manager and the players deserve a lot of credit…the clubs have been on similar journeys and we tried to do a similar thing.”
The Cherries come into this fixture fresh off the back of a last-gasp winner away at Newcastle United. Steve Cook’s cushioned header deep into stoppage time has lifted the south coast club into 17th place, but still just a point above the drop zone.
Despite the international break halting Bournemouth’s momentum, Howe said he was pleased with how his squad were feeling after their last game.
“There was a really good feeling about the team after the Newcastle game,” Howe admitted. “When you score so late, it really gives you a lift. We got together yesterday for the first time as a group since.
“Behind the scenes we have worked and pushed the players. We’re really looking forward to the game, and will need the crowd behind us to create a really good atmosphere.”
The Bournemouth boss also revealed the state of his squad before the Huddersfield game: “Junior Stanislas won’t make the game, Benik (Afobe) will be back in contention. Josh King will be a late call as he missed international duty, and hasn’t trained this week.”
Two players that have impressed recently are Callum Wilson and Lewis Cook, though, and Howe expressed how pleased he was with the pair.
“I’m very pleased for Lewis Cook. We recognised very early that he’s a talented boy on the pitch, but also a great lad off it. He’s very rarely fazed or flustered by anything. His call up to England was fully deserved in my opinion.
“Callum Wilson is at full fitness. I wouldn’t play someone in the Premier League if I didn’t think they were fully fit. He will take time to get back to his absolute best. He showed against Newcastle that he is physically in very good shape.”
AFC Bournemouth kick off against Huddersfield Town tomorrow at 3pm.