REUTERS – Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes his January recruits will play an important role in ensuring the club remain in the Premier League this season.
The Cherries broke their transfer record to sign forward Benik Afobe from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a reported fee of 10 million pounds ($14.4 million) and re-signed striker Lewis Grabban from Norwich City.
The club have also taken Roma forward Juan Iturbe on loan.
“All three of our new players are really good characters,” Howe told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with 15th placed Norwich.
“It’s nice to have done early business but it’s all relative. We’re trying to ensure we have enough strength in depth.
“The squad looks in better shape now I believe. We’ve got players that can really make a difference.”
Norwich, a place above Bournemouth in the table, have won just two of their 11 away league games but the Cherries have struggled as badly at home and Howe is hoping his side can put things right at the weekend.
“A win would be really important for us. Our home form has been patchy so we want to start a consistent run,” he said.
“We’re pleased we’re out of the bottom three, that’s where we have to stay. Every game is the same, they’re all pivotal results in the long-term. We don’t want to be scrambling in the last few weeks.”
The manager also revealed that influential midfielder Matt Ritchie could miss the match after suffering a dead leg in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat by West Ham United.
Defender Tommy Elphick was closing in on a return to full fitness but would not be rushed back into action after undergoing ankle surgery, the manager added.
($1 = 0.6950 pounds)
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)