by Ross Millen (@RossMillen)
Eddie Howe strongly believes that AFC Bournemouth are capable of beating anyone, ahead of their clash with Tottenham on Sunday.
Since joining the Premier League in the 2015, the Cherries have never beaten Spurs.
Bournemouth sit just six points above the relegation zone ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who edged past Bournemouth earlier in the season 1-0 at Wembley Stadium thanks to Eriksen’s goal.
Bournemouth come into the game having only lost once in their last 10 matches in the Premier League, but disappointingly conceded a last-gasp equaliser at Leicester City last weekend.
Speaking to the media, Eddie Howe said: “It was massively disappointing being so close to three points but we’ve been on the other side of this this season.
“I think the effort the players put into the game, that was the big disappointment they didn’t get the full reward for that.
“The focus has been on all the positives from that game, it was a tough encounter for us and we did really well first half and created the best chances in the game.”
Despite dropping points at the King Power, Howe still insists they’re in good form.
“We feel we’re on a really good run from Christmas time. We’ve got some good wins, dug out some good draws and limited our losses. In this division that’s absolutely massive and we now enter another crucial phase.”
Tottenham went out of the Champions League mid-week against Juventus, however they’re still in good form with only two defeats in 22 games.
“If we can get a really good mix where when we play well here the crowd get behind us and make it difficult for opposing teams then that’s going to be crucial in this match.
“Our start has got to be stronger than it has been in previous games, but I think we’re capable of beating anyone here.”
Liverpool were the last team to beat the Cherries at home on the 17th December, proving their good home form.
“The Vitality is a tough place to come, the crowd are involved and the stadium is tight and usually a very good atmosphere here.
“Our style of play is intense, quick and we try to create a quick game here, and I think it’s sometimes difficult for opposing teams.”
Speaking regarding Harry Kane, Howe said: “He is an outstanding player, but when you play these teams I don’t think it’s about one player.”
Ahead of the game on the weekend there is some team news regarding injuries.
“We have a couple of concerns we need to check, Mark Pugh I think will miss the game.
“We’re going to check Jordan Ibe and Ryan Fraser to see how they are close to kick-off, apart from that we’re all okay.”
The Cherries boss also gave an update on Jermain Defoe, who has recently made a return to first-team action after a serious ankle injury.
“He’s looked good since he’s come back, I’ve been pleased with him, he made a difference in the Newcastle game so he’s certainly in my mind.
“His motivation is very high, it has been all season, he’s always had that desire to score goals, we’re delighted to have him.”
Another player that has been in and out of the squad is Harry Arter. However, he got called up to the provisional Ireland squad mid-week.
Eddie Howe said that despite the call up, he hasn’t seen a a ‘noticeable mentality change since the call-up’ from the Irishman.
“We have good competition in midfield with Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling doing well in the middle along with other competition for the places too.”
There is now only nine games left of the season with some tough games still to come, and Howe reflected on ensuring Premier League survival.
“We are preparing that the players are focused on every game. We have a lot more work to do.
“We have to focus on short term targets and make sure we stay in the division.”
Kick-off is at 4pm on Sunday at the Vitality.