BOSS Jason Tindall insists tomorrow's Carabao Cup clash with Crystal Palace "has come at a good time for us".

Cherries won their Championship opener 3-2 against Blackburn on Saturday and face the long trip to Middlesbrough this weekend.

But between those fixtures is a home clash with the Premier League Eagles, who kicked off their top-flight campaign with a victory over Southampton.

Asked if the cup contest comes as an unwelcome distraction so early in the season or a good chance to boost the fitness of his squad following a shortened summer break, Tindall told the Daily Echo: "It’s another chance to get some minutes into the guys. Looking at the Blackburn game, we were short on minutes.

"I think you could see Blackburn were ahead of us in terms of games they’d played in pre-season compared to us.

"This game has come at a good time for us to get some extra minutes and also an opportunity for some players that didn’t play at the weekend to possibly pick up minutes.

"Everyone’s come through (the weekend) okay so that’s great news. That’s obviously one of the most important things, that you don’t pick up any new injuries. We’re very fortunate that we haven’t done that."

Cherries are set to again be without Diego Rico due to a thigh injury, while goalkeeper Asmir Begovic's dead leg continues to be assessed.

Joshua King will also not feature due to a knock picked up on international duty, but he is due to return to training tomorrow.

"I’ll pick a team that I feel will be good enough to go out there and win the game," said Tindall.

"At the same time, today out on the training pitch we will assess how the players are feeling.

"We had a couple of players playing at the weekend that were only probably 60 or 70 per cent fit, so we’ll see how those guys are and it’s a matter of picking a team that’s in good physical condition first and foremost and without putting anybody at risk."

Tomorrow will offer a swift opportunity for Tindall to pit his wits against Premier League opposition in Crystal Palace, a side who have beaten Cherries three times in a row, including June's 2-0 Vitality Stadium victory.

"We’ve played Palace a number of times over the years," said Tindall.

"Obviously we played them quite recently post-lockdown. It’s always a tough game and it’s a game we’re really looking forward to."

The third round draw for the Carabao Cup has already taken place, with the winners of Tuesday's tussle knowing a trip to holders Manchester City awaits next week.

Asked if that has come into this thinking at all ahead of taking on Roy Hodgson's Eagles, Tindall insisted: "No, not really. I think the only thinking now is to pick a team that is capable of winning the game and getting through to the next round in the cup.

"That’s all I’m thinking of. I think any game you compete in, you go out there to win the game. That’s certainly what we’re going to try and do."