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AFC Bournemouth boss Howe: We're gunning for eighth
Cherries tomorrow bring down the curtain on a memorable campaign in the second flight when they visit relegation-threatened Millwall (12.15pm kick-off).
Currently ninth, Cherries were guaranteed to end the season in the top 11 after Watford had suffered a 3-1 defeat at Charlton in midweek. But with just a point separating Cherries from eighth-placed Blackburn, Howe says his team will be going all out for victory at the Den.
He told the Daily Echo: “We have a duty to ourselves, forgetting every other team in the league, to try to perform and win the game. We want to finish eighth. We have prepared well, the lads have trained well and I will pick a team to try to win.
“We need to make sure we leave the season with a good feeling and don’t want to tarnish all the hard work we have done. We want to finish the season on a high and, hopefully, keep the momentum going for next season.
“The players have been very professional all season and haven’t let me down in any game. We are certainly going to need to produce a really good performance if we are going to come away with the points.
"More than anything, it would be nice to give our away supporters a really good send-off because they have followed us up and down the country this season come rain or shine.
“We will look at the squad and try to pick the best team to win the game. We certainly have a strong bench and have people pushing for starting spots. We will try to pick a team we feel is the right one for this game.”
Millwall’s fortunes have improved thanks to a seven-match unbeaten run, although the Lions have only managed one home win in 12 games under Ian Holloway who replaced Steve Lomas as manager in January.
Howe added: “Whenever you go to Millwall, there is a good atmosphere and they are special games. Their supporters are very passionate and get behind their team.
"I think the game will be played at a frenetic pace and we need to make sure we are attuned and ready to go because we want to finish the season on a high.
“Millwall have had a really good end to the season because, at one stage, it looked difficult for them and they had some tough fixtures. But they had some big wins against Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Wigan and have turned their season around.
“From that spell of games, they haven’t looked back so we certainly know we are going to be facing a motivated team and need to make sure we hit those motivational levels ourselves.”
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