Eddie Howe hoping for fewer injury setbacks in 2020
Eddie Howe admits he is hoping for a change of fortune in 2020 as Bournemouth battle to stay in the Premier League.
Bournemouth start the new decade against fellow strugglers West Ham as David Moyes’ second spell at the London Stadium gets under way.
The Cherries are two points above the relegation zone after winning only once in nine league matches, and a lengthy injury list includes Adam Smith, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks and Nathan Ake.
“It’s been a tough year,” Bournemouth boss Howe said of the past 12 months, which saw his side win 10 Premier League games.
“If I cast my mind back last season to injuries, we had a stretched squad who battled, got through and achieved our aims.
“But this early season is probably the most difficult I’ve had in terms of resources.
“I’ve learned a lot throughout it. Maybe we’re looking for a change of luck as we go into a new year.”
Bournemouth have won 20 points from 20 games, one more than 17th-placed West Ham who have a game in hand on the Cherries.
Manuel Pellegrini’s dismissal after the 2-1 home defeat to Leicester on Saturday and Moyes’ subsequent appointment has changed the dynamic of the New Year’s Day fixture.
But Bournemouth are unbeaten in the past six meetings between the clubs, winning three of them, and Howe feels that is a positive factor for his side.
“It certainly helps if we go into the game more confident on the back of that,” Howe said.
“But every game is a different challenge and we look forward to it.
“You don’t want to give your opponent an early goal like we did at Brighton, because we made it difficult for ourselves.
“You learn from that. We are looking for a good start and putting pressure on them.”
Howe says any business in the January transfer window can wait as he assesses his casualty list and determines when injured players will be back.
“We’ll wait and see if there is anything to be done there,” he added.
“The biggest decision there is where our injuries are in terms of who is coming back and when.
“That is probably the biggest priority and then January can be a very difficult window at the best of times.
“It (injuries) is not a hard luck story, it’s not feeling sorry for ourselves.
“This is our fifth year in the Premier League and it’s going to be very difficult to do it again.
“But we can achieve it and we will continue to look optimistically into the future.”