Cherries manager Howe admits he was ‘anxious’ about safety

Date published: Friday 6th May 2016 3:00

Eddie Howe: Arsenal links played down

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admitted it is a weight off the club’s shoulders to go into the closing stage of the season with safety ensured.

The Cherries lost 2-1 at Everton last weekend but Norwich’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates secured their Premier League status for another season.

Howe’s side have won five games at home in all competitions compared to the nine they have won on the road and the Bournemouth boss wants to finish the season on a high so they can celebrate with their fans.

Howe said: “Huge relief (to secure safety).

“I feel for those clubs that are still involved in it because there a huge pressure on everybody with what is at stake but the fact that we are now mathematically safe, it is nice to say because for weeks I have had to say the right thing but now we can relax and play some really good football.

“I was anxious to get the job done ourselves, to win the games and get points – that would have been the ideal.

“As it happened we had to rely on other teams which is never nice.

“The supporters have been absolutely brilliant for us this season, there have been some tough moments here, some tough fixtures, results haven’t always gone our way but they have never turned against us, they have always clapped us off.

“We have maintained that positiveness between the fans and the players and that has definitely been one of our strengths this year.

“We have had a really tough run of fixtures, the results have not been great, we would love to end this season on a high, we would love to end our home form on a high and try and get our supporters going into the summer feeling very good about next season.”

Bournemouth have not beaten a team both home and away this season but Howe his hopeful they can achieve this by beating West Brom at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday having won 2-1 at the Hawthorns in December.

He said: “I think it will be a slightly different game to if the two teams were competing for points.

“I think we will see a potentially more open game, a more attractive game.

“I know Tony (Pulis) rotated his team slightly last week so it will be interesting to see what team they put out but I think we are looking to end the season on a high, it is a big push.

“It would be nice (to be able to do the double) but West Ham are a tough team to beat.

“Tony organises the team so well, I think they have had a really good season and if we are to get anything out of the game, we are going to have to earn it.”

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