Eddie Howe says Bournemouth vs Huddersfield is a 'massive' game
Dan Gosling doubtful with knee injury, Jefferson Lerma returns
By Liam Grace
Last Updated: 03/12/18 11:05am
Eddie Howe is ready for a "massive" game when Bournemouth host Huddersfield at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Cherries had made a blistering start to the season, sitting sixth after 10 games, but a tough run of fixtures against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United has seen them lose their last four.
"I think, collectively, the spirit is still very good and this game tomorrow night will be massive for us," Howe said. "We need to show that our confidence hasn't dipped in any way."
Howe bemoaned the latest defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday - Callum Wilson's header on the verge of half-time had levelled things at 1-1 - but "scrappy" second-half goals saw City claim victory.
Just before City's third on 79 minutes, with the score at 2-1, Bournemouth were denied a penalty when Fernandinho appeared to shove Tyrone Mings in the back.
Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Howe's side after the match, claiming they were "so strong" and was particularly impressed by strikers Joshua King and Wilson.
The Cherries are ninth following that result but will move back up to sixth with victory on Tuesday, while Everton (sixth) United (seventh) and Leicester (eighth) play on Wednesday.
"Four defeats [in a row] doesn't sit well with us," Howe added. "Throughout the season you're always going to have those moments unfortunately. That's just the reality of the division.
"The Newcastle game was a big frustration because we didn't get the performance or the result, but I think in the other three we have been relatively happy with a lot of what's happened.
"We just haven't quite been clinical enough or defended well enough in key moments, but a lot of positives to take from those games."
Huddersfield, meanwhile, saw their three-match unbeaten run come to an end after suffering a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton on Saturday.
That result moved them down to 17th and just above the relegation zone - two points ahead of bottom-placed Fulham.
"Huddersfield have had an upturn in results and we know it'll be tough," Howe said. "We need the atmosphere to be good here at Vitality Stadium, as it always is for our night games.
The Bournemouth boss confirmed midfielder Dan Gosling is a doubt for the match and has been sent for a scan on a knee problem while Jefferson Lerma returns from suspension.
Last season saw two thrilling encounters between Bournemouth and Huddersfield with nine goals across two games.
The Cherries registered a 4-0 home victory in November before the Terriers claimed revenge with a 4-1 win in February's reverse fixture on their way to securing Premier League survival.
Wilson scored a hat-trick in the former and Howe is delighted with his striker's current form, seven goals so far this season, especially considering his comeback from two Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries.
"Callum has had a vision of how he wanted to come back from his setbacks," he added. "After watching him training during those tough periods, it's no surprise to now see him doing what he's doing."