Bournemouth’s poor start to the season has been brought about by the narrowest of margins, said manager Eddie Howe, who is confident his side can turn a corner when they visit Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.
Eight games into the season, the south coast club are second-bottom of the table with one win and one draw to go alongside six defeats.
Bournemouth have yet to pick up a point on the road this season but Howe was encouraged by their battling performance at third-placed Tottenham Hotspur in their last match, even though his team were beaten 1-0.
“It’s hard to win any game in the league but that’s what we’re here to do. We are where we are because of small margins,” he told a news conference on Friday.
“We really want to get a win away from home. Our performances have been there, particularly at Everton and Tottenham. I thought we performed well in both.
“It’s just a case of being a little bit more ruthless in front of goal and a bit more resilient at the back. I think we’ll get there.”
Bournemouth’s next opponents Stoke, 17th in the standings, have the joint-worst defensive record in the league with basement side Crystal Palace, with each having conceded 18 goals so far.
Manchester City scored seven against Mark Hughes’ team last weekend as they won 7-2, but Howe believes that was more an indication of the rich vein of attacking form the league leaders are in than of Stoke’s defensive lapses.
“Games like that you just need to take out of context. When (City) are in the form they’re in at the moment, some of the football they played was incredible,” he added.
“From our perspective, that is just one strange game in terms of the scoreline.”
Howe will make a late call on the fitness of Ryan Fraser after the winger missed the Tottenham game with a hamstring injury.