Injury issues a concern for Cherries boss Howe

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EDDIE Howe revealed how injuries picked up by key players in his squad had dictated his team selection against Brighton.

The boss made nine changes to the side which had drawn 3-3 with Watford on Wednesday.

Steve Cook and Ryan Fraser were the only survivors with Howe indicating the latter may have further aggravated an injury concern.

Howe said: “There were a huge number of players who weren’t available. Jefferson (Lerma) has just had a baby – he’s gone back with his partner and was unavailable.

“Callum (Wilson) was unavailable due to injury as was Dan Gosling. Joshua King had an illness.

“Nathan Ake and David Brooks were carrying problems.

“Ryan Fraser was also carrying a slight problem. We played him and it looks like he may have tweaked something – that’s the risk you take.”

Cherries have played 10 times and won just twice in a hectic schedule since the start of December.

The boss added: “Some players have had to go again and again. Naturally, they have picked up problems.

"With the other bodies fit we would be tweaking things and, ultimately, that would have left us a lot stronger than we are at this second.”