REUTERS - Bournemouth must raise their game to combat Manchester City’s all-round strength, the south coast club’s manager Eddie Howe said as his team look to open their Premier League account with a home victory on Saturday.
The Cherries have lost both their opening fixtures but Howe is hopeful that the morale-boosting 2-1 League Cup win over Birmingham City on Tuesday can help them beat Pep Guardiola’s side for a first time.
“We need to make sure that this weekend with the quality of opposition we fight well... we’ve had some tough encounters with Manchester City,” Howe told reporters on Friday.
“Manchester City have been very good against us in the past. They’ve been good on the counter-attack and defended well.
“We need to show fight and determination this weekend. We have to do everything in our power to get our fans behind us.”
Howe is content with his squad and believes no new additions need to be made in the final week of the transfer window.
“You’re always judging the squad on training and matches. We don’t feel any need to add to it currently,” Howe added.
“The positive thing from the week is that several players played well. So I’ll have to think hard about the team I pick.”
England striker Jermain Defoe, who featured in the League Cup win, is in contention to start against City, while defender Simon Francis (hamstring) and winger Junior Stanislas (groin) remain sidelined through injury.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru