Opposition View: AFC Bournemouth

By SFC Media Sat 02 Dec Bournemouth v Saints
Photo by Getty Images | Eddie Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has labelled Sunday's south coast clash a 'derby', as Saints prepare to travel 30 miles west to the Vitality Stadium.

Howe asserted that Southampton were deserving of the three points when the Cherries hosted this same fixture last term, running out 3-1 victors, but has vowed to make this season's tie more competitive.

"I see it as a derby," the Bournemouth manager confirmed. "It's as close as we're going to get.

"I think the rivalry is growing. I don't think at the start it was viewed like that for them.

"It's up to us to grow as a club and become serious rivals to Southampton; last season they deservedly beat us here.

"They have very good players and we had two good encounters against them last season. They have an experienced manager so we know it will make for a tough test.

"We know that if we play to our potential that we can be very competitive in the match. It's up to us to respond against Southampton as we know how big a game it is.

"What's important now is the month ahead, and we need to start the month on Sunday in good fashion."

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