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Eddie Howe has called on Bournemouth supporters to be his struggling side's 12th man when they host Manchester City at the Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries enjoyed a strong start to their second campaign in the Premier League and were as high as ninth in the table at the turn of the year.

But they are without a victory in 2017 and head into Monday night's fixture just six points above the relegation zone.

Howe, who has guided the south coast club from the verge of extinction to the top flight, is hopeful however, that Bournemouth will soon return to winning ways.

"We've had blips before," said Howe. "When we were going for promotion from League One we lost five games in a row. Everyone thought the wheels had come off and we were going to sink into oblivion again.

"We came back with renewed strength and vigour. The supporters backed us through that moment with no problems and I think that's the real strength behind the fanbase.

"I would urge the supporters to really get behind the team for every game between now and the end of the season, because of the position we're in. We'll need them to be like the extra player they've been for us throughout the years."

Bournemouth secured a 3-0 victory at Swansea on New Year's Eve, but after blowing a three-goal lead against Arsenal in their next match, an FA Cup exit to Millwall and disappointing defeats against Hull and Crystal Palace ensued. They then conceded six goals on their last outing against Everton.

Earlier this week, chairman Jeff Mostyn felt compelled to give Howe his vote of confidence.

"I hope it's longer than the foreseeable future that I'm here," Howe added. "My heart is very much here and I'm looking forward to getting back to winning games.

"It goes with the territory. You do begin to expect it, but you don't always agree with the things you hear.

"For me that's crazy to suggest Claudio Ranieri's job would be under pressure after everything he's achieved for Leicester. But that's the way the Premier League and football is at the minute, you just have to accept that."

Howe could be without the defensive trio of Simon Francis, Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith who are all battling injuries, while goalkeeper Adam Federici has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a knee problem.


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