Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is looking for a New Year lift when Bournemouth play Swansea, after a disappointing showing against Chelsea.
The Cherries went down 3-0 to Premier League leaders Chelsea last time out and Howe admits it prevented him fully embracing his family’s festivities.
Bournemouth’s New Year’s Eve fixture is rather more enticing, with managerless and struggling Swansea taking the place of Antonio Conte’s winning machine.
So Howe, whose side could start 2017 in the top half with victory, is eyeing a return to better spirits at the Liberty Stadium.
“The Chelsea game ruined my Christmas,” he said.
“As always, what’s going on with our results dictates my mood and how you enjoy your social time. It obviously didn’t ruin it for the kids, but personally, it was a difficult Christmas period.
“The nature of the division is that you’re always looking over your shoulder. We also want to look up the league table, because a couple of back-to-back wins can elevate you into a really good position.
“We know this is an important game and a key period for us. We’ve been a bit inconsistent of late and that is something we’ve talked about internally.
“We’ve turned in some good performances, but we need to do that on a more regular basis. With the New Year, that is something we’re keen to address.”
Howe also hinted at an element of sympathy for Bob Bradley, who was sacked as Swansea boss this week after just 11 games in charge.
Alan Curtis will take charge in a caretaker capacity on Saturday and the Cherries boss believes his presence on the touchline will provide some important continuity for the players.
“It was hard for Bob Bradley,” Howe said.
“He wouldn’t have had time to create his own culture and put his own ideas across, but that’s the ruthlessness of the division and the scrutiny everyone is under.
“(But) it won’t be a massive upheaval for Swansea. In Alan Curtis they’re turning to someone they know and trust.”