MANAGER Eddie Howe will warn his Cherries players to be wary of a Blackburn backlash when they step out for the second leg of their North West double-header.
Cherries will be hoping to follow up their 1-0 win at Blackpool on Saturday with another positive result when they face Rovers at Ewood Park tonight (7.45pm).
The clash comes just three days after Blackburn surrendered the east Lancashire bragging rights when they were beaten by bitter rivals Burnley for the first time in 35 years.
A late winner from former Cherries star Danny Ings helped the Clarets open an eight-point gap in second place after Jordan Rhodes had drawn first blood for Rovers at Ewood.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “It has all the makings of being a good game. Blackburn are another big club in the Championship and Ewood Park is a great stadium. Their pitch is excellent so it will be good to play on a nice surface.
“They are probably hurting from the derby defeat and I think that will make it a very interesting game. It is a difficult one to judge because it had been such a long time since they had lost a derby. They are such keenly-contested games that it would have been seen as a big loss for them.
“They are a good side and have some dangerous players so, however it has affected them, we know it will be a very difficult game. We were delighted to get three points at Blackpool and now we want another three.
“The fact we won on Saturday will not change our thought process because we go into every game wanting to win. In some senses, it may take a bit of the pressure off us. We can have a real go at Blackburn and see what we can do. I think our players have proved time and time again this season that we are a good side and we have nothing to fear.”
Howe knows Cherries will need to keep tabs on Rovers’ leading goalscorer Rhodes, who ended a nine-match barren run to notch his 17th of the season against Burnley, and be mindful of Tommy Spurr’s huge throws.
“Jordan Rhodes took his goal very well on Sunday,” added Howe. “He is a good player and has 17 goals this season, so he is an obvious threat.
“I am not sure there is a lot you can do about the long throw. We have worked on it and will do some more but I don’t think anything can really prepare you for the real thing.”
Howe will make a late check on the fitness of Harry Arter and Yann Kermorgant and reported no fresh injury concerns following a hard-fought win at Blackpool.