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Howe: We are ready for 'very difficult' Stoke City test

Posted: Fri 12 Feb 2016
Author: afcb.co.uk

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe had admitted that he is well aware of the threat posed by Stoke City ahead of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League match.

The Potters travel to Vitality Stadium this weekend having not won since January 13th, yet Howe believes his side should not go into the game with overconfidence.

“Watching Stoke’s games, there has been very little between them and the other sides,” the manager said. 

“They’ve had a couple of disappointing results, but they’re still the same team. They’ve got very dangerous individuals that we need to be aware of. 

“They have a lot of quality in their team so we’re expecting a very difficult test. 

“I think Mark Hughes has done a really really good job. He has certainly changed their way of playing which is a very difficult thing to do alongside getting results.

“He deserves a lot of credit for the transition that he’s made and the players he has recruited – they look very strong.”

The Cherries go into Saturday’s encounter in good form, having only lost three of their last 15 matches.

But the manager believes that his side are capable of getting even stronger with new signings progressing each day and key players beginning to return. 

“We’re improving in terms of our fitness,” continued Howe.

“That includes all the players that probably weren’t as match fit, such as those that we’ve recruited.

“Lewis Grabban and Rhoys Wiggins needed game time so they played during the week and they’re both improving. Tommy Elphick came through another game as well so there are really good signs.” 

Loanee Juan Iturbe has also excelled since arriving in January from AS Roma. 

“He has done very well in the games behind closed doors,” Howe said.  

“He’s scored six goals in two games and is certainly looking the part. We’re excited to see him.”  

Words by Zoe Rundle
AFCBSignUpToCherriesPlayer
Eddie Howe's full pre Stoke City press conference is now available to view here.