Cherries boss Eddie Howe has pulled no punches in telling afcb.co.uk that tomorrow’s game with fellow Premier League strugglers Newcastle United will define their season.
Bournemouth head to St. James Park on the back of just one defeat in their last eight away games (W3 D4 L1), but Howe has warned his side’s cushion could quickly disappear.
He said: “The message from me is very much for more, an eight-point cushion is not enough because we are well aware that fortunes can change very quickly,”
“So we need to take care of our own business. This is another massive game in our season and one that we are all looking forward to,” he added.
A single Ayoze Perez strike was enough to separate the two sides when they met back in November, and Bournemouth will most certainly looking to avenge what they believe to be a bit of an injustice.
Perez’s goal came courtesy of their only shot of any kind in the first-half and their only shot on target during the entire game.
The pressure is well and firmly on the Magpies, however, with some reports even suggesting McClaren could get the sack if they fall to another defeat on Saturday.
According to a report in Friday’s Daily Mail, some senior Newcastle players cannot believe the 54-year-old is still in charge.
This is Newcastle’s lowest tally of points after 27 games of a Premier League season (24), but do go into the clash with Howe’s men having only lost two of their last 10 home games.
In terms of team news, Josh King and Harry Arter are both very doubtful which means Dan Gosling is likely to return to the side, and Junior Stanislas is still out with a hamstring injury.