Cherries: Howe targets a new year of triumphs
MANAGER Eddie Howe says consistency will be the key factor to Cherries maintaining their unexpected promotion push. Cherries are currently fifth in a congested League One with just four points separating them from 14th-placed MK Dons, their opponents today. Howe's charges head to the Dons' impressive stadium:mk bidding to record only their second away victory of the season (3pm kick-off). Cherries also go in search of their first league double after coming from behind to secure a 3-2 win over the Buckinghamshire outfit in October. The table is very tight, said Howe. Apart from Brighton's early-season form, there hasn't been a really consistent team that has managed to get results week in, week out. We've been a little inconsistent ourselves and are hoping to address that. It's the same for most teams at the moment. Back-to-back wins put you in a great position and a couple of defeats can leave you looking over your shoulder. We are looking to put together a run to put us in a strong position. That's what we are aiming to do over the festive period. Victory at Tranmere in August remains Cherries' sole away success this season with Howe's troops having registered four league wins on the road in 2010. And with a packing field chasing two automatic promotion berths and four play-off places, Howe knows away points could be crucial come the final reckoning. He said: It is something we would like to improve on but, if you look at our away performances, in the main, they have been excellent. Our results have not matched the performances and you would like to think that would even itself out in time. We have drawn five away league games and performed well at Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford and Orient without winning any of them. There were reasons why we didn't win those games and we know we need to address them. But the good news is that we are performing well and you would always prefer that. If you keep performing well, the positive results will come. Like Cherries, MK Dons boast an impressive home record having lost just once on their own patch this season, going down 4-1 to Sheffield Wednesday in their last game at stadium:mk on November 20. Defeat by the Owls was the first of three successive reverses that have seen the Dons slip out of the top half. They are very strong at home, said Howe. They have had a couple of injury problems since we played them and have brought in a couple of new players. They will have a slightly different look about them and so will we. It should be an interesting game.
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