BOURNEMOUTH captain Alan Manning insists the importance of tomorrow’s clash with Launceston is not lost on anyone at the club as they bid to boost their survival hopes.
With five National Two South games left, Bournemouth sit second-bottom and 15 points from safety.
Launceston are one place above the drop zone and the showdown could go a long way to deciding Lions’ fate.
A fortnight ago, Bournemouth faced a similarly important contest as they took on basement boys Exmouth and triumphed 24-17 at Chapel Gate.
And Manning, currently sidelined through injury, is urging for more of the same as defeat may have disastrous consequences.
“We have all been saying in the week how important the game with Launceston is and it is an all or nothing game for sure,” said Manning.
“It is an old cliché but we are treating every game between now and the end of the season as a cup final and that is especially the case for this weekend with Launceston just above the relegation zone.
“If we win then we can keep looking up and keep believing, but if we lose then it could be game over as we will leave ourselves too much to do.
“The pressure is certainly there but in recent weeks I think it has actually had a good effect on the boys. We have been playing harder, tackling harder and we have been hungrier for the ball.
“So I think that pressure might play into our hands and spur us on in what is a must-win game.”
Last time out Bournemouth were on the wrong end of a 41-21 scoreline as they suffered defeat to Cambridge.
Despite trailing 36-7 with 20 minutes left, Bournemouth fought until the final whistle – which Manning believes bodes well for the future.
“I thought the effort from our boys was great,” he said.
“It was a gutsy performance and we gave it our all and if we keep doing that then we will give ourselves a chance of survival this season.”
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