Howe looking forward to rest time
Eddie Howe is hoping the upcoming international break will give Bournemouth players a chance to rest and recuperate.
Neither Lewis Cook nor Simon Francis will return this season after rupturing their anterior cruciate ligaments in their right knees in December.
There are others who have been struggling for fitness over the last few weeks and Callum Wilson and David Brooks have only just returned from seven and four-week spells on the sidelines so Howe hopes a break will do the squad some good.
He told the Echo: “The problem since getting the two serious injuries has been that the squad has been stretched and we haven’t been able to rest players at appropriate times.
“They have had to play through little niggles and those niggles have become worse.
“We’ve been playing catch-up and we are still in that position, to a degree, where we’ve had to push Brooksy and Callum back.
“Although they were fit to play, possibly I would have liked to have managed their game time slightly differently.
“But that’s the situation we’ve been in and, hopefully, with the international break coming up we can get the squad looking pretty strong again.”
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.