CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe has broken with tradition by suggesting the league table does lie – especially in the case of tomorrow’s opponents Bury.
The Shakers, currently third from bottom in League One, have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes since Kevin Blackwell took over as manager at the end of September.
Cherries will put on the line their nine-match unbeaten run at Gigg Lane, while Bury will be bidding to win their fifth game in their past seven.
Bury, who did the double over Cherries last season, have made good use of the loan market with Wolves defender Matt Doherty, Leeds midfielder Zac Thompson and strikers Troy Hewitt (QPR) and Tom Hopper (Leicester) all expected to start.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “It would be wrong to look at the league table in this instance to gauge how hard this game is going to be because they have done extremely well recently.
“They have beaten some good teams and all the reports we have had have on them have been very positive.
“They have brought in some good loan players who have made a difference and have really improved their team and squad. Having been to Bury many times as both manager and player, I know it is a difficult place to go.
“When you put everything in the mix, it is going to be a tough examination for us and another good indicator to see how far we have come.
“Kevin Blackwell has done a great job in a short space of time. We have watched them so we know their strengths. We will prepare our players and make sure they are fully focused.”
Howe has no fresh injury concerns for the trip to the north west with the clash likely to come too soon for midfielder Richard Hughes who is close to a return following a hamstring injury.
Cherries: (from) James, Francis, Addison, Elphick, Daniels, McQuoid, MacDonald, Arter, Pugh, Barnard, Grabban, Tubbs, Cook, Fogden, O’Kane, McDermott, Fletcher, Pitman, Jalal.
Shakers: (from) Carson, Doherty, Ebanks-Landell, Hughes, Skarz, Worrall, Thompson, Schumacher, Soares, Hewitt, Hopper, John-Lewis, Sweeney, Carrington, C Jones, A Jones, Sodje, Wylde, Belford.