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Marc Pugh - We’ve proven we can bounce back, Middlesbrough is a massive game

Posted: Sun 16 Apr 2017

AFC Bournemouth stalwart says the squad are braced for a strong end to the season

Marc Pugh believes the Cherries have what it takes to put their loss at Tottenham Hotspur behind them going into their crucial Premier League run in.

After playing the league’s top three sides in consecutive matches, Bournemouth now face a key spell against sides battling at the other end of the table.

“We can’t dwell on the past,” Pugh told after the 4-0 defeat at White Hart Lane. “That’s been and gone. Next week we’ve got Middlesbrough at home, that’s a massive game and three points would boost our season.

“We’ve proven over the last five or six years that we can bounce back. We’ll work on what we did wrong and then try to rectify that to put in a solid free-flowing performance.

“You have to approach every game like it’s your last, I love playing football as do my team-mates and we want to do everything in our power to win games for this football club.

“We want to be playing in the Premier League next season so we need to turn up and be the better team against Middlesbrough.” 

Speaking of the match against Spurs, Pugh said his side were not up to the level of the opponents, pushing to push their title challenge down to the last games of the season.

“It was a tough task,” said the 30-year-old. “I thought they were excellent and it was one of the toughest games I’ve been involved in physically and mentally because they kept the ball for long periods of the game.

“Attacking-wise and with their movement off the ball they were superb. Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say you were beaten by the better team.”

After a tough recent run - starting away to Southampton and taking in Anfield, the league leaders Chelsea and now Spurs - Pugh says the matches have given Bournemouth a standard to aim for.

He explained: “We should have won the game against Southampton but missed a penalty and chances late on. Against Liverpool we got a great point, we deserved it in the end with our work-rate.

“But against Chelsea and Tottenham we were up against the two best teams in the league who move the ball well and with the attacking threats that they’ve got that’s where we want to get to.”