CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe insisted he was happy to proceed with a compact squad after a quiet January transfer window.

The Dorset club did not bring in any new faces last month, while a string of players went out on loan including strikers Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban, to Wolves and Aston Villa, respectively.

Howe had consistently stated he had not expected Cherries to be active in the market. And with January over, the manager revealed hopes a more streamlined set-up would benefit his team.

He said: "We've got a tight squad. When we've worked at our best, that's what we've had.

"I think having a huge squad and lots of bodies out of the squad is never a good mix for a vibrant dressing room, so we are happy to go with a tighter squad.

"We wish the players well who have gone out on loan and hope they do well for their respective clubs. It's a good opportunity for them both.

"The door is always open. Football is a game of changes of opinion and changes of opportunity. I have a lot of time for both players and I hope they do well."

Sky reported Cherries had seen a £5.5million offer for Brentford defender Chris Mepham knocked back on deadline day.

Howe added: "There's no disappointment from us in the sense of what happened during the window.

"It is a very difficult market to recruit players in, we have said that time and time again.

"You can find yourself making expensive signings and then maybe not getting value for money at the end of it so we are very happy with what happened."

Howe confirmed Adam Smith would be doubtful to feature against Stoke City tomorrow due to the thigh problem he sustained in the draw against West Ham last month.

The boss said: "We don't think it's serious. We hope he will come back into contention very soon."