Howe: We know we’re in a relegation fight at Bournemouth

Date published: Friday 24th February 2017 4:44

Eddie Howe is not hiding from Bournemouth’s problems and accepts recent form has not been good.

But the Cherries boss is convinced there is little wrong with his team as he looks to pull them away from any relegation danger.

Bournemouth are 14th in the Premier League and still six points above the bottom three, but they risk being dragged into a scrap having lost four and won none of their last six games. They have also conceded 18 goals in those last six outings.

Howe said: “The spell we have been on, you can’t hide from. It’s not been good, conceding a lot of goals.

“But I think it has been slightly unusual the way that has happened, so I don’t think there is anything structurally wrong with us.

“We haven’t changed anything from early season, we have just suffered in certain moments. It is up to us to bounce back from that.”

Howe kept the club in top flight at the first attempt last season and says repeating that feat was always the chief aim this term.

Speaking at a press conference, Howe said: “I have said a few times, despite the fact our league position was healthy a few weeks ago, we are in a relegation battle. We are not hiding from that.

“We need points, we need wins, we need them quickly. Although people have never included ourselves in that bracket, we have always felt we were in a race to reach that 40-point mark.”

Bournemouth did not have a game last weekend and return to action as they travel to West Brom on Saturday.

Howe has been impressed by Tony Pulis’ side, who are eighth in the table.

He said: “I think they have done very well this year. Tony’s teams are always really tough to beat and I think they have added quality this year.

“There has been a big change from last season. They have got more of a counter-attack threat and I think they can do more things than they did previously, with better quality.”

Howe took his squad to Madrid last weekend for a warm-weather training camp.

“The time away was invaluable for us,” Howe said. “The weather was a bit better than it is here and the players were together for a few days and did some really intense training. I think it was a really beneficial few days.”

The foreign training camp is not the only way Bournemouth have sought to get the best out of the squad, with a story emerging of players wearing orange glasses before going to bed to aid sleep.

Howe said: “Basically we are just looking at all apsects of trying to improve our players’ performances – sleep being one of those things that is such an underrated recovery tool. It is so important the players get a good night’s sleep.

“The orange specs they use before they go to bed, to cut out the white light going into their eyes and brains, to help give them a good night’s sleep. I’ve been wearing them consistently and I feel a lot better for it.”

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