Cherries boss Eddie Howe hopes the best is yet to come from “goal threat” Lee Barnard.

Striker Barnard could return to the starting line-up tonight when Cherries host League One rivals Shrewsbury Town at Goldsands Stadium (7.45pm).

The loan star was unavailable for the 4-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday as parent club Southampton did not want him to become cup tied.

But Barnard will be in contention to feature against the Shrews as in-form Cherries aim to make it six matches without defeat.

The Saints frontman has scored four league goals in 11 starts since making the move to Dorset on a temporary basis until January.

And he has already impressed manager Howe with his qualities on and off the ball.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “I have always admired Lee from afar.

“When he was at Southend, I know he scored against us a few times when we were competing in those days and then he got his move to Southampton.

“He is a goal threat and he is a very good finisher – you can see that from training every day. He is technically very good.

“We have got a really good mix of strikers – we have got different types – and that is certainly a position where there is a lot of strength in depth.”

Howe added: “He is very unselfish and in the games since we have been here, he has worked extremely hard with whoever he has played with up top.

“A feature of our play against Carlisle was the work-rate of the front two and, of course, he scored on that day.

“Hopefully, there is more to come from him.”