BOSS Eddie Howe hopes the rivalry between Cherries and Southampton will continue to grow but insists victory against their neighbours is no sweeter than any other.

Cherries tomorrow lock horns with Saints at Vitality Stadium – with the Dorset club 10 places and 11 points above their Hampshire opponents.

But since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2015, Cherries have triumphed just once in the derby with Saints having claimed three victories.

Much has been made about the rivalry by supporters from both clubs with the majority of Southampton fans seeing Portsmouth as their biggest enemies.

Asked whether trying to win the south coast bragging rights motivated him, Howe said: "The only thing that motivates me is to try to win, regardless of who we play.

"It could be a training game, whatever it is, it is about winning. It is not about the longer-term picture because that will take care of itself if you get the shorter-term aims right.

"From my perspective as manager of the team, I have to look at the next training session and the next game.

"Every win is savoured the same by the coaching staff. We prepare every game as though it is a cup final.

"We pride ourselves on detail and trying to do everything we can to maximise our chances of winning.

"I place every game at the same level of importance – as high as it can be.

"For everyone else connected with the club, there maybe games that mean more to them than others. But it can’t be like that for us. It has to be every game is the same."

Asked whether he felt the rivalry was growing, Howe said: "I definitely think it has grown from a point a few years ago when we hadn’t been at this level before and, naturally, I don’t think that rivalry was there.

"It has the scope to get bigger but I think that would be determined by both clubs competing at this level and fighting for points. Then, the history would continue to grow.

"We would love to win but we respect Southampton a lot. We know they are a very good club with very good players.

"They have an outstanding manager who has been in the Premier League for a long time so we don’t underestimate them in any way and we know that football can change very quickly so we have to get the basics right in this game.

"As I am cocooned in my work, I am maybe not in a great position to comment on the rivalry. I don’t go on messageboards and forums and don’t stand with supporters at games so I would be a little sheltered from that.

"But wherever the rivalry is right now, it will grow the longer the fixture remains and the more the history will build between the clubs, just due to the proximity and how close we are to each other. Where it is at the moment, I wouldn’t know."