Howe hopes Bournemouth have turned a corner ahead of Brighton clash
Eddie Howe hopes Bournemouth can take inspiration from last season’s thumping 5-0 success at Brighton to ease their relegation fears.
Howe’s Cherries ran riot against the Seagulls in April, inflicting their opponents’ heaviest Premier League home defeat.
The two south-coast clubs are currently locked on 20 points and anxiously looking over their shoulders at the drop zone as they prepare to meet for the first time since that one-sided affair.
With Albion now under the guidance of head coach Graham Potter, Bournemouth boss Howe expects a different type of test during Saturday’s televised lunchtime kick-off at the Amex Stadium.
“Certainly the performance that day was very strong. We scored some good goals, (it was a) totally different game but hopefully the players can take inspiration from that,” said Howe.
“Different game, different manager, different team – Brighton now this season, I think they’ve performed very well from what I’ve seen.
“I’ve been very impressed with the job Graham Potter’s doing there and we know it will be a very difficult match for us.
“They will be patient and they will pass the ball – I think most teams in the Premier League do. It will be a good challenge for us.”
Bournemouth, who have been hampered by a lengthy injury list in recent weeks, have plummeted towards to wrong end of the division on the back of just two wins from 13 top-flight fixtures.
An impressive victory at Chelsea on December 14 followed by a Boxing Day draw against Arsenal have been sufficient to keep the Cherries just above the bottom three, two points clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa.
Howe has urged his players to build on the point against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners as they fight to remain in an unforgiving league.
“Our away form in the main has been pretty good, I’ve been pretty pleased with how we’ve performed,” he said.
“This league is so ruthless, wherever you go, whoever you play, you need to pick up points on a regular basis.
“We haven’t done that well enough in this recent run but hopefully the Arsenal game is a turning point for us.”
Bournemouth will have left-back Diego Rico back from suspension but captain Simon Francis is a doubt due to a bruised knee which meant he missed the Arsenal game.
Defenders Adam Smith and Nathan Ake and midfielder David Brooks are among a host of players still sidelined.