EDDIE Howe admits he is "desperate" to clinch a first win at St Mary's with Cherries tomorrow night.

Since promotion to the top flight, Cherries have lost twice and drawn twice in their four trips to Southampton, including April's 3-3 draw.

And Howe is looking to finally get over the line at the home of their south coast neighbours (8pm kick-off).

Discussing the clash against Saints, boss Howe said: "They're a very good team. I think they've improved under their new manager, implemented his philosophy, certainly a very hard-working team.

"They've got undoubted quality I think. We know it's going to be a tough game and a very good atmosphere I'm sure.

"Both teams go into the game with confidence, so I think it's set up to be a really good match.

"We've enjoyed going to Southampton to play these games. We haven't won one yet in the Premier League and we're desperate to do that as soon as we can."

He added: "I think we are aware that this holds extra importance for our supporters and everybody locally so I think that has its own responsibility.

"But I think to say you are more motivated for one game than any other is wrong because for me you need to be at your best levels every week, that’s certainly my mindset."

Victory for either side would see them move up to third in the Premier League table, for a few hours at least.

And Howe believes that will be motivation on Friday night.

He said: "It’s a big thing to take into the game. I’m sure both teams will be thinking the same thing.

"At this early stage of the season there’s no better thing than winning and to try and get yourself as high up the league as you can.

"We’re trying to build momentum in the campaign and I think that’s hugely important.

"Home and away you want to get that confidence going into every game that you can win.

"Certainly the last result (against Everton) we had will do us the world of good, but we need to back that up now against Southampton."

Asked for his team news ahead of the clash, Howe said: "We're pretty much in the same place, added by the returns of Simon Francis and Lloyd Kelly in the week. The squad is getting stronger."