AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe hopes home support will be crucial

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe hopes home advantage will be decisive when they take on promotion rivals Middlesbrough.

"Hopefully they (the fans) can make the difference," Howe told BBC South Today.

"The big thing in our favour is home advantage, I would love to think that could be one of the crucial aspects to the game, but in order for that to be the case our crowd have to back us throughout which I'm sure they will and as they have done all season."

Boro edged the Cherries out of the automatic places by beating Derby in their last game and Howe is aware of the importance of Saturday's fixture.

"It's a big game, there is no denying it and I can't downplay it," he said.

"I don't think it's fatal either way. We still have plenty of games to go, but when you play rivals they are obviously more important games with the points swing that can occur either way depending on who wins. It's a big one for us.

"They will come here in good spirits. From our perspective we're five unbeaten, also in good form and I think it has the makings of a good game."