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AFC Bournemouth: Cherries boss Eddie Howe gives backing to injury-hit squad
CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe is playing down the possibility of entering the loan market as he backs his players to cope with a lengthy injury list.
The Championship newcomers have made a promising start to the season despite being forced to handle the absence of a raft of influential performers.
Howe has seen an increasing number of key men confined to the treatment room and has made use of his squad to ensure some encouraging results and displays.
Matt Ritchie has been a notable absentee and Howe revealed the ex-Swindon winger had this week travelled to Italy for specialist advice on his thigh problem.
More recently, Mohamed Coulibaly, Charlie Daniels, Harry Arter, Andrew Surman and Ryan Fraser have been among the walking wounded.
But Howe is confident Cherries possess the necessary quality to build on the form which has seen them climb to eighth in the Championship standings.
Asked whether he would look to recruit loanees, Howe told the Daily Echo: “Not at the moment.
“I think we would look to bring in someone on loan if we felt they were going to come into the team.
“But I wouldn’t want to bring in a loan player just to sit on the bench. We have players who are more than good enough to come in and make an impact at this level, so I will back the squad at this stage.”
Discussing Cherries’ injury list, he continued: “It has been difficult. The league is so physically demanding that the players are at 100 per cent all the time. You can’t take breathers in games, it is that kind of league.
“We have got this international break coming up. We have three games which will be another big test for our squad. Hopefully, we can come through that and then on the other side of that, I think we will be close to getting some bodies back. But short-term, we are probably going to have to go with what we have got.”
Howe is hoping a trip to Rome will help put Ritchie on the road to recovery. A persistent thigh problem has restricted the talented 24-year-old to a watching brief since he initially felt discomfort during Cherries’ friendly against FC Zurich at the start of July.
“Matt has been in Rome this week to get treatment and then to be assessed,” reported Howe. “We are hopeful that sending him to what we believe is one of the best clinics in the world will help.”
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