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Cherries: Howe pleased with preparation (with video)
BOSS Eddie Howe insisted he had seen no signs of complacency among his buoyant squad after warning them there was still plenty of work ahead.
Cherries head to Crewe on Saturday in confident mood after storming up the League One table following a 13-match unbeaten run since Howe's return.
The 1-0 victory over Colchester last time out saw the Dean Court outfit move to within just two points of the play-off zone.
Howe says his players are keeping their feet firmly on the ground - and admits it must stay that way as they play catch-up in the promotion race.
He told the Daily Echo: “We have trained very well and the lads' attitude to training has been very good throughout the time we have been back.
“I think that is always a good marker to performances and this week has been good. We have been pleased with our preparation.
“But in terms of characters, the type of players we have here and their mentality, I haven't seen any signs of complacency and, hopefully, we won't.
“With such a long way to claw back, we need the momentum of these results to get us in contention. We have still got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Opponents Crewe have won three league games in a row and lost just twice in their past 10 outings.
Howe added: “They will provide a stern test for us. Crewe have always played a certain way and have been well known for their style of football and for producing young players.
“This past year has been no different and full credit to Steve Davis and the job he has done because they are still producing players and selling them, but still being competitive.
“Crewe won't change their style and we won't change ours - it will be two football teams going into battle. I think it will be an exciting game and quite an open game. Hopefully, we can get the result we need to try to keep the momentum we have built.”
Central midfielder Shaun MacDonald is the major absentee after sustaining an ankle ligament injury in the win over Colchester last time out.
Playmaker Marc Pugh has overcome the sickness bug which hampered him against Colchester. Richard Hughes could come into contention after returning to training this week, although he lacks match fitness having not featured since October due to a hamstring problem.