'Bring it on', says Bournemouth boss

AFC Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate

Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate - Credit: PA

Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate says his players are ready to go “toe-to-toe” with Norwich City.

The Cherries are on a five-game winning run and Woodgate is keen to turn the narrative towards his own players, not City's.

“We can’t always just talk about what Norwich are going to do, it’s about what Bournemouth are going to do," he said. “I’ll be implementing that to the players like I normally do – what can we do to beat them?

“It’s not about how much they can hurt you. Okay, we make slight adjustments into what you believe in.

“But I want to go there with a Bournemouth team believing we can win the game.”

Bournemouth have flourished under Woodgate, losing just once away from home since he took over in February. It's a run which has seen them come back into the promotion picture - they start the day fifth in the table - with their manager relishing Saturday night's big-game challenge.

“Especially under the lights at Carrow Road. There’s nothing better really, especially in a Championship game," he said.

"Two good teams going to-to-toe. Bring it on.”

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Woodgate may be without on-loan striker Shane Long.

"Shane Long will be touch and go, we'll do a fitness test on him today and see how he is," said Woodgate.

Junior Stanislas return to the Bournemouth side after illness in midweek.

"He came through fine, he's been an important player for us this season and has scored a lot of goals," added the Cherries boss.

"It's great to have him back in the fold, pushing for a start. We've got a lot of competition now for places and it's good at this stage of the season to have the majority of the squad fit.

"We're in a decent enough position at the minute, it wasn't long ago that Reading and Barnsley were five points ahead of us, we've done ever so well and full credit to the players for getting us back into this situation now.

"We need to be consistent in every single game that we play, don't drop off what you're doing now, keep your standards high and if we do that we'll be okay."

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