AFC Bournemouth: Little respite for players over festive campaign

Bournemouth Echo: BOSS: Eddie Howe BOSS: Eddie Howe

BOSS Eddie Howe says he will manage Cherries’ training regime in order to cope with the punishing festive campaign.

Cherries face four Championship clashes in the space of 12 days before hosting Burton Albion in the third round of the FA Cup on January 4.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “The players will not be off at all really because it is a busy and hectic period as Christmas always is in England.

“We are going to have to manage their training in between games. At this stage of the season, it is all about the games and making sure that we leave all the energy in the players for those big occasions.

“It is certainly a big time for us with so many games in such a short period of time. I am hopeful we can pick up some good results and have a good Christmas.”

Cherries kick-off their schedule with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow before hosting Yeovil on Boxing Day and Ipswich on December 29. They travel to Brighton on New Year’s Day.

Previewing the visit to Hillsborough, Howe said: “It is a game we are looking forward to on the back of our win at Reading. Hopefully, we can produce a similar performance and result. The result against Birmingham didn’t match the performance and I think we are very unfortunate to have collected only three points from our past three games.

“You can’t affect results because they are always in the lap of the gods so performances are the thing you look at most and I have been really pleased with the past three. We created a lot of chances against Birmingham and, if we hit those levels again, you would like to think we would score on a regular basis.”

The Owls, who are under the caretaker charge of Stuart Gray following the recent sacking of Dave Jones, have won two of their past three games, although their midweek clash with Wigan was abandoned due to waterlogging at Hillsborough.

Howe, who worked briefly with Gray following his appointment at Burnley, said: “Stuart seems to have galvanised the place and got the players a little more confident and working hard. They have always had talented players and a good group and have a good mix. Every time you go to Hillsborough, you know it is going to be a difficult game. We expect a tough game but we go there in good heart as always.”

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