AFC Bournemouth have been backed by David Prutton to strengthen their push for the play-offs this weekend when they take on Middlesbrough.
Prior to March’s international break, Jonathan Woodgate was getting the best out of the Cherries and had overseen three wins in five games, which had put Bournemouth into seventh and hot on the heels of Barnsley and Reading.
If anything, the break came for them at a bad time and it’s important for Woodgate’s side to hit the ground running again against Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough this weekend.
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For Prutton, he sees it as a big game, with both sides still in with a shout of crashing into the play-off places.
Writing on his Sky Sports column, Prutton said: “This is a big game for Bournemouth and for Jonathan Woodgate, against his old side. He will be desperate for a win that would see them climb, at least briefly, back into the top six.
“If Middlesbrough have any aspirations of hauling their way back into play-off contention, then the time is now, and this game is must-win. But it will be a tough one for them, and I don’t think they will have quite enough. 2-1.”
The fixture is an important one in terms of chasing the play-off places, but it also has a sideline that is going to be interesting to watch.
Woodgate took over from Jason Tindall as Bournemouth’s play-off push stalled, falling on his feet and finding his first job since leaving Boro towards the end of last season.
Warnock was the man to replace him, deemed the right pair of hands to get Boro moving in the right direction.
This is a game that’s got a lot riding on it in terms of keeping in touching distance of the play-off places, particularly with Reading and Barnsley locking horns too.
They both need the win and the fact that Boro seem to need it more than Bournemouth might just give Warnock a bit of added incentive.
A Boro win to end Bournemouth’s positive run might be on the cards.
Thoughts? Let us know!