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Cherries: Howe backs squad for 'pivotal' games
Howe has been forced to reshuffle his defence in recent weeks after both Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels were confined to the treatment room.
Influential centre-half Elphick is still out following Ryan Lowe’s horror tackle at MK Dons and left-back Daniels is nursing a foot problem.
Loan recruits Dan Seaborne and Marcos Painter have been drafted in to join defensive regulars Simon Francis and Steve Cook.
And Howe is confident in Cherries’ personnel as they bid to continue their fight for promotion to the Championship.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Sheffield United (3pm), Howe told the Daily Echo: “It has been untimely for us to reshuffle our back four at such a key stage of the season.
“Tommy and Charlie have been pivotal in the success the team has had but you can never look back. You have to look forward.
“We believe greatly in the players we have got. Hopefully, we can put on a positive perfor mance and move forward now in what is a key stage of the season.
“The next four games are going to be pivotal in the run-in. It could give us a really good platform to kick on. With how tight the league is, these are key games.”
Cherries face the high-flying Blades before home matches with promotion rivals Coventry and Doncaster either side of a trip to Leyton Orient.
Second-placed Cherries hold a one-point advantage over Sheffield United, although tomorrow’s visitors to Dean Court have a game in hand.
Howe added: “They have got a good squad and a lot of players that have played at a level above.
“They have a very experienced group who have been around the game a long time and probably know how to get promotions and deal with this situation.
“But we believe in the group we have and believe in the potential and ability we have in our dressing room.
“I think it is going to be an exciting game – that goes without saying – and I am sure the atmosphere will be electric.”
Howe reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Sheffield United match.