AFC Bournemouth vs Leicester City - Stadium move will be emotional to Bournemouth

Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2016 by PA

Eddie Howe believes Bournemouth must press ahead with plans for an "emotional" move from Dean Court to realise their Premier League potential.

Bournemouth bosses last week revealed their bid to develop a new stadium for the Cherries, and manager Howe has thrown his support behind the plan.

Howe has graced Dean Court as both player and manager, sharing as many heartfelt moments at the ground as many supporters - but believes the club must trade up on the stadium front to boost finances.

"The stadium is a key factor moving forward," said Howe.

"If and when we move it will be an emotional time, but we have to see the bigger picture."

Bournemouth have played at Dean Court since 1910 but now hope to have a new home in time for the 2020-21 season.

The Cherries sold the 11,450-capacity Dean Court ground to property company Structadene in 2005 in a sale and lease-back deal.

Bournemouth host Leicester on Tuesday night, fresh from Saturday's 3-2 Premier League reverse at Burnley and Howe admitted his side must tidy up the uncharacteristic defensive lapses that proved so costly at Turf Moor.

Claudio Ranieri's Leicester have struggled in the early stages of their Premier League title defence, but bounced back spectacularly by thrashing Manchester City 4-2 at the weekend.

Jamie Vardy's hat-trick bamboozled Pep Gaurdiola's men, leaving Howe extremely wary of the east midlands team.

"I wasn't disappointed with the effort at Burnley but we do need to ensure we're a little more solid at the back," said Howe.

"Conceding goals hasn't been a big issue but we've obviously let a few in during recent games. We're always looking at ourselves.

"Leicester looked to have regained their swagger on Saturday."

Junior Stanislas has failed to overcome his ankle problem in time for the clash, while midfielder Andrew Surman will miss out again due to his continuing hamstring troubles.

Meanwhile, Leicester boss Ranieri was happy with his side's draw in the Champions League on Monday - they play Sevilla - but his focus is carrying on Saturday's momentum.

"I know that Sevilla have lifted the Europa League three times in three years - it is unbelievable. Now they are third in the league and have lost only three so far. They are a big, big, big team," Ranieri said.

"They are very technical and very good. They are fighting to win the title with Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, so that tells you how good they are.

"For the fans it is good because Spain is a fantastic country and a lot of English people enjoy going there. They have been with us in every game so far and for them I say 'enjoy', and that we will continue to fight to go as far as we can in the Champions League.

"For now, we must focus on us. We have to be focused on the Premier League and we will enjoy the Champions League whenever it happens."

The latter stages of Saturday's match saw a long-awaited return for midfielder Matty James after 19 months out with a knee injury, and he is hoping to remain involved.

"It's been such a difficult time for me," he told Foxes Player. "I've had to have numerous things done to my knee and there's been one or two other issues that have been a problem for me.

"I feel great now and to come on against Manchester City, the fans were great with me and I can only thank them for their support over the last 18 months.

"The main thing was to get back fit, at one point I thought 'Is it ever going to happen?' - now I just want to get back to the level I was at before my injury."

Fellow midfielder Danny Drinkwater is available after suspension against the Cherries but full-back Danny Simpson serves a one-match ban. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel could return after over a month out with a broken hand.

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