Bournemouth Manager Eddie Howe has tried to play down the importance of Saturday’s match.
Asked at his Thursday press conference whether the Newcastle match was the proverbial six pointer, Howe replied that ‘every game is important’ and Bournemouth ‘want points off everyone’.
The reality of course is that Saturday’s result could prove pivotal for Bournemouth’s season…and Newcastle’s.
A win for Bournemouth would put daylight between them and the relegation zone, defeat would automatically drop them into that bottom three.
The promoted club have had a torrid time with injuries to first eleven players, whereas if you’re honest, with Newcastle there have been plenty of injuries but they’ve tended to be fringe/squad players, with the odd crucial exception.
Things are gradually improving though for Eddie Howe and Bournemouth, with the influential Harry Arter back in the team, whilst he says he is waiting to see if defender Steve Cook and keeper Artur Boruc make the Newcastle game.
If either side loses then it will be a long long two week international break to get through before the next match, let’s hope that losing team isn’t Newcastle United…
“Harry Arter has given everyone a boost. You can see the impact he’s had on the team.
“I think Harry Arter has made a good return so far, but I think there’s more to come from him.
“We will make a late decision on Steve Cook and Artur Boruc ahead of the weekend.
“One game can restore our confidence. We didn’t look back after beating Doncaster in the Championship.
“We are looking for our fans to back us and the players to give them something to shout about.
“Every game is important and the next one is as big as the last one. We want points off everyone.
“I’ve seen a good reaction after Sunday, but I would expect that. The real test of that will be on Saturday.”