Eddie Howe puts focus on Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe

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Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe insists results elsewhere in the latest round of Championship fixtures are irrelevant ahead of the crucial visit of Bolton Wanderers on Monday.

Watford secured automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Brighton and the Cherries could essentially join them with a win over the Wanderers.

A victory for Howe’s men would put them three points clear of Middlesbrough with a vastly superior goal difference, meaning it would take an incredible set of results in the final round of games to see Bournemouth miss out.

If Bournemouth fail to beat Bolton, they would still be in the driving seat for an automatic spot, but the title would be Watford’s and Boro and Norwich could still steal second place.

On paper Bolton have little to play for but Howe expects a big test from Monday’s visitors, although he is confident Bournemouth can finish the job and secure promotion.

Middlesbrough’s defeat at Fulham and Norwich’s stalemate with Norwich have worked in Bournemouth’s favour, but Howe has urged his side not to lose focus as they battle for a place in the Premier League.

“I have maintained all along that results elsewhere do not interest me because there is nothing I can do to control them or any of the other teams,” he told the Daily Echo.

“All we can do is concentrate and prepare for our game which promises to be a tough encounter against Bolton. Other results make no difference whatsoever because our aim is always to try to win every game.

“Bolton are a strong side and have a very good squad. They have a vastly-experienced manager in Neil Lennon who I have the upmost respect for.”

He added: “We respect them and know we will need to be at our best because they have players that can hurt us.

“We are excited about playing on Monday. The key thing is it is a night game and we do well under the lights at home. It is a chance again for us to show everybody we are a good side and, hopefully, we can do that.”

Bournemouth have been installed as 1.29 favourites to beat Bolton on Monday and 4.50 to win the Championship outright, while Watford are 1.16 to land the title.

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