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Howe admits Bournemouth’s season is in the balance

Eddie Howe has warned Bournemouth’s season could still go either way as they prepare to host Premier League title challengers Manchester City.

The Cherries were thumped 5-1 at Arsenal on Wednesday night, which leaves them in 12th place.

Their advantage over the bottom three though is now down to nine points, while seventh-placed Wolves are six ahead.

Bournemouth manager Howe feels there is still plenty to play for over the final 10 games.

“We have a problem with our consistency right now,” Howe said.

“We are not safe. Things can change very quickly in football.

“We know the teams above us are still within touching distance, as are the teams below us.”

The Bournemouth manager added at a press conference: “The ‘goals against’ column has been a problem for us, probably since December.

“We have been frustrated because in some games we have looked really good defensively, with a few clean sheets in there and have been very strong.

“We can do it, we can definitely perform well as a defensive unit as a team, there have been some outstanding performances.

“But there are also times where if we are under par, we have conceded groups of goals together, which is never a good sign.”

The omens are certainly not good for Bournemouth as they prepare to take on another of the Premier League heavyweights, now without a win since seeing off Chelsea 4-0 at home on January 30.

“We know we have the capabilities and qualities to beat anyone at home,” Howe said.

“It will be tough and we will need everyone – players, fans, staff – right at it.

“I think it’s a good game for us. We will try to move on very quickly, although learn the lessons from a painful defeat.

“If you don’t give all your energy to the preparation and size of task in this game, it becomes even more difficult.”

Howe sees no reason why Pep Guardiola’s side cannot continue their fight to land all four trophies.

“I think they can do whatever they want to do. They’ve got the definite ability to do that (win all the competitions),” the Bournemouth manager said.

“I think they’re hugely-talented individuals, while being a very good team at the same time and I think that’s a very good mix.

“An outstanding manager of course leads the team and I wouldn’t put it past them – or him – to do that.”

Howe added: “Their style of football is a joy to watch. Every time I see them play I feel like I learn something from how they do things.”