Lloyd Kelly’s injury absence “definitely has something to do with” Cherries’ difficulties moving the ball successfully, says head coach Scott Parker.

The Bristol-born defender has missed both the 3-2 Derby defeat and the 1-1 draw at Millwall through a quad injury.

In both of those fixtures, Cherries have struggled to move fluently between the thirds and have been involved in more frantic affairs with reduced control on the ball.

The 23-year-old stand-in captain has developed into a key ball-player at the back since his 2019 move from Bristol City, building an imperious partnership with Gary Cahill that saw five clean sheets in his last six matches.

Parker assessed why Cherries have struggled in his absence after the game, saying: “Yeah I think it definitely has something to do with it.

“When you’re missing a player of Lloyd’s ability, Lloyd’s composure, Lloyd’s technique, of course it is going to be an issue.

“But we have a squad full of players so I’m not saying it’s all down to Lloyd, but you are going to miss them sort of players, of course you are.”

He continued: “Jordan Zemura, Adam Smith, Junior Stanislas – albeit not being around it too much this year – are all players that bring that quality and are going to help the team for sure.”

Parker only revealed that Kelly had picked up the quad concern following the defeat at Derby, and added after Millwall that this weekend will likely be still be too early for a return.