Bournemouth must reach 40-point mark to ensure survival - Smith

Britain Football Soccer - AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea - Premier League - Vitality Stadium - 8/4/17 Bournemouth's Adam Smith shields his eyes from the sun Reuters / Peter Nicholls Livepic

REUTERS - Bournemouth have slipped into the Premier League relegation battle and must reach the 40-point mark as quickly as possible, full back Adam Smith has said ahead of their home match against 19th-placed Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Eddie Howe's side, who are currently 16th in the league with 35 points, seven clear of the drop zone, suffered back-to-back defeats to title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea that extended their winless run to four games.

"We are absolutely in a relegation fight, we have to get to 40 points, at least," Smith told the Daily Echo.

"Everyone at the club knows that and we will be working hard to get there as quickly as possible in the next few games.

"Our past three games have all been against tough teams but we have to look forward to the next five now. They are all big for us and we have to get some wins."

Smith said his form at the club dipped at the start of the calendar year but has improved since Bournemouth went on a five-game unbeaten run last month.

The 25-year-old, however, suffered a foot injury during the 4-0 defeat at White Hart Lane last weekend and is hopeful that it will not sideline him for the rest of the season.

"I have been playing better since we started our unbeaten run (in March)," he added. "I have been working well with Wee Man (Ryan Fraser) and have felt better.

"I didn't feel great in the game at Spurs once I was injured but, hopefully, next week, I will be able to keep going."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)