Eddie Howe finds himself second bottom of the Premier League after 10 games, with only Palace below.

The Bournemouth boss says that the next half dozen matches, starting with Newcastle: ‘I think we have a run of games where we have to win’.

After Saturday’s visit to St James Park, Bournemouth then face Huddersfield, Swansea, Burnley, Southampton, and Crystal Palace.

These half dozen games are then immediately followed by games in December against the likes Man Utd, Liverpool, and Man City, so not hard to see why he sees these first six upcoming games as crucial.

After playing Man City on 23 December, the Cherries will be at exactly the halfway point, so early points in November are desperately needed.

The last thing Eddie Howe needed then was for key players to get injured – but both Stanislas and Afobe were forced off during last Saturday’s defeat at home to Chelsea.

Howe thinks winger Junior Stanislas is definitely going to be missing but striker Benik Afobe is an unknown.

Bournemouth’s attacking problems were tough enough without any injuries, only Crystal Palace have scored fewer than the Cherries’ paltry six goals, whilst they have conceded 14 (Newcastle have scored 10 let in 9).

The last two Newcastle matches have seen very few chances at either end and one goal deciding each of the Palace and Burnley matches, with Bournemouth’s form and now added injury problems, if Rafa’s team can craft the opening goal then surely the three points are there for the taking.

Eddie Howe:

“We are not sure yet with Benik Afobe, we think he might have a muscle strain. He said it could be cramp but he had to come off.

“Junior Stanislas does (look like he will be missing for a while) for sure. It is too early to make an assessment on both but Junior’s looks serious.

“It looks like a muscle pull. It happened just in front of us and he was in full flight, he said his groin had gone.

“I have always believed we have good depth in our squad but to lose two quality players would be a huge blow.

“We worked hard to get Junior fit after we had really missed him in the early part of the season. He showed his quality at Stoke so it would be a really tough one to take.

“We have to go a long way to put it (the season) right and I think we have a run of games now (starting in November), where we have to do that.

“Looking at the fixtures this is going to be a key spell of our season.

“I think we have a run of games where we have to win.

“I think you need to have a good run during the season and we need some momentum, back to back wins will make a huge difference to everybody’s mind-set, we’re prepared.”



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    It`s not nice to want your own players injured but i wouldn`t mind if Hosselu, Perez & SloMo went down with the Dreaded Lurgy tomorrow

    • Steve Smith

      Who would you replace them with?

      Gayle and Mitrovic don’t have a full 90 minutes between them.

      There’s no confirmation that Merino is fit to play yet.

      Murphy hasn’t inspired any confidence.

      Essentially it leaves no striker to replace Joselu, with just Hayden and a potentially unfit Merino to cover for the midfield and #10.

      Even then we’d be hoping no substitutions need to be made!

      • Paul Patterson

        It’s a fair point you make.
        Personally I’d keep Perez in situ, play Gayle up top and see how long he lasts with Mitrovic on the bench and restore Hayden in the middle if Merino isn’t fit.

      • Christopher Edwards

        How has Mitrovic not got 90 minutes in him. He plays 90 minutes for Serbia.

        • Steve Smith

          He’s a walking red card. Every player in the premier league recognises that.

          • Christopher Edwards

            He has had two red cards in his Newcastle career, the same as Shelvey

          • Geordie-7676

            Great point!

          • Steve Smith

            It’s hard to get red cards while you’re not playing. Unless you’re Patrice Evra.

    • Rich Lawson

      It looks the only way Mitro’ will get a start !

  • Rich Lawson

    Good !