AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe insists his side cannot rest in the scrap to avoid relegation from the Premier League despite pulling 12 points clear of the drop zone ahead of the trip to Tottenham Hotspur. Victory over Swansea City was the Cherries' third in a row and leaves them on the brink of confirming survival in the English top flight.
Teams below them in the table including Newcastle United, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Watford all have games in hand over the south coast outfit but it would require a dramatic loss of form for Howe's side to suffer the ignominy of dropping back into the Championship at the first time of asking. Fourteen points from their remaining eight matches would guarantee their survival.
Tottenham, their opponents on Sunday [20 March], inflicted their heaviest defeat of the season on Bournemouth, with Harry Kane netting a hat-trick in a 5-1 reverse at the Vitality Stadium. The newly-promoted side are a changed team since the loss however, and Howe is eager to use the game as a barometer of their progress.
"Tottenham were very good on the day," said Howe, according to the club's official website. "I was really impressed with their work ethic and of course they have the ability to complement that, so it's a good mix. I have a lot of time for their manager [Mauricio Pochettino] as well, he's done a very good job and put together a very young and exciting squad.
"From our point of view, the game will provide a good chance to see how far we've come and improved over the season. There is no feeling inside the camp that we are safe. There won't be until it's mathematical, and even then the work ethic doesn't change: we'll still want to win games. That continues on Sunday."
Harry Arter faces a late fitness check before being passed fit to face Tottenham but wideman Junior Stanislas is out with a hamstring problem. Arter has an achilles issue while Stanislas remains side-lined along with long-term injury concerns Callum Wilson and Tyrone Mings – who are both recovering from knee injuries. "Harry has improved but we will make a late decision on him," Howe admitted. "Stanislas is still out."