CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe admits he will not take Pep Guardiola a Christmas present – and is hoping there will be no gifts given on the pitch either.

Howe's side tomorrow face the titanic task of taking on a Manchester City team who have not lost at home in a domestic fixture for more than a year.

And while Howe is open to a post-match Christmas tipple with the City manager at Etihad Stadium, he expects the niceties to go no further than that.

Having confirmed he would not take Guardiola a gift, Howe said of the post-match drink tradition: "We try to do that after every game.

"Some managers are more open to it than others. In the lower leagues it was something we did with everybody but in the Premier League it is slightly different.

"Some will, some won't. But I usually have a chat with every manager, whether it be before or after. There will be a brief conversation.

"Media commitments are extreme for managers and sometimes that means you don't get the chance."

Having encountered a difficult run of fixtures in December, Cherries are 16th in the Premier League standings, one point clear of the relegation places.

The Dorset side are without a victory in seven matches in all competitions, their opponents being on a 16-match winning run in the league which started at Vitality Stadium in August.

But Howe insists a positive mindset is the way forward in the face of such daunting statistics.

He said: "We need to believe we can win and are on the same level as Manchester City.

"Going in with an inferiority complex isn't going to do us any good so then it depends on how you use that underdog tag to your benefit.

"Having a free mindset and not burdening the players with pressure is very important.

"Manchester City are probably the most different of top sides. You are facing an exceptional team set up around dominating the ball.

"We need to make sure we counteract that and show our own strengths."

Howe plans to get his players in for Christmas Day training ahead of the clash with West Ham United 24 hours later.

And the boss insists that will not get in the way of his Christmas dinner, joking: "I've got to eat!"

He added: "I think I will have a bit of time with my family on Christmas Day.

"The difference between being a player and a manager is the emotional time you miss, because although I won't necessarily be working, my mind will be on the West Ham game.

"I will be thinking about what lies ahead and what we need to do. As a manager, you never switch off, even during Christmas."

Cherries are yet to score a Premier League goal on Boxing Day, having lost 3-0 to Chelsea last season and drawn 0-0 with Crystal Palace in 2015.