Eddie Howe wants Bournemouth to embrace the “ultimate test” ahead of them as the struggling side travel to face league leaders Liverpool this weekend.
Howe’s side travel to face a Liverpool team rapidly closing in on a first league title in 30 years, Jurgen Klopp’s side currently 22-points clear of nearest challengers Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
The Merseyside club enjoyed a record-breaking start to the campaign but suffered their first league defeat of the season at Watford last time out, though Howe is in no doubt of the task facing his side at Anfield tomorrow lunchtime, urging his side to embrace the occasion.
“We know this weekend is probably the ultimate test this season,” he said. “We’ve got to rise to it, embrace it and attack it.
“We’re not going to win by playing okay, or playing at 60 or 70%, we can only do it if we excel.”
“The most important quality we can have this week is belief.”
Bournemouth have lost their past five league meetings with Liverpool, failing to score a single goal during that time, and Howe admits his side must be at their very best to earn a result as they bid to move outside of the division’s relegation places.
“We need to be very, very good this weekend. We can only control what we do, the lads have trained well this week.” he added.
“We were lifted with our performance against Chelsea and there has definitely been an uplift in terms of our creative play in the last five matches.
“The feeling of the group is very good and psychologically we are responding well to the challenge in front of us.”
The Cherries boss was also full of praise for this weekend’s opponents, hailing the “consistency” of the European champions following the rise to the top of English football.
“I think consistency is their stand out quality, they’ve got quality players and an outstanding manager and the way they play is so difficult to play against,” he said.
“However, to reproduce that quality week on week stands out.”