By Akshay Kulkarni (@ImpatientPedant)
A buoyant AFC Bournemouth team will take on Newcastle United in what promises to be an enthralling match on Saturday afternoon.
Though the Cherries lost their last fixture, at home to Manchester United, the call-up of Callum Wilson to the England squad and the subsequent award of October’s Manager of the Month award to Eddie Howe has capped off a great month for the Cherries.
Bournemouth’s best start to a league season means they currently sit sixth, with 20 points. Opponents Newcastle are just outside the relegation zone with six points, following a tough start to the campaign.
However, given that the Magpies achieved their first win of the season against Watford last week, Howe warned it was not going to be an easy match.
“It’s difficult to win in the Premier League. Every game is so different, Newcastle will be on a high going into this one, so it’ll be tough.”
This fixture saw great drama, just over a year ago with a late goal from Steve Cook sealing victory for the Cherries.
However, despite their poor start, Howe is clearly not underestimating Rafael Benitez’s side. He said: “Last season against Newcastle was a massive win for us, in the last seconds of the game, we go there now in different circumstances, but the mentality has to be the same.
“That day we performed very well and I need the same mentality again, to try and create the same result.”
Howe went on to speak about Callum Wilson. The 26-year-old has been involved in the most goals as an Englishman this season, with six goals and four assists, and his first senior England call-up was met with delight from his boss.
“I’m delighted for him and his family. A very proud moment for them. It’s fully deserved and I’m delighted that he has the payback for the mental fortitude he showed during the adversity of the injuries that he faced.”
When asked about whether the call-up would affect Wilson, Howe disagreed. “I don’t think it will change him in any way because he has always had the mindset that this was going to happen. He is a very positive, confident person.
“He is well liked by his team mates and the whole club is delighted for him. Hopefully this will elevate his game to another level.”
Wilson will be the focus of attention against a potentially resurgent Newcastle on Saturday. Kickoff at St. James’ Park is at 3pm.