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First team

Duo are doubts for Clarets test


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Defenders Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith are both doubts ahead of AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League showdown with Burnley tomorrow.

Daniels sustained an ankle injury during the Cherries’ 2-0 defeat at Leicester six days ago and was replaced by Diego Rico after 56 minutes at King Power Stadium.

Smith has been nursing a hamstring problem for the past month which forced him off towards the end of the first half of the 2-0 win at Huddersfield.

The pair are expected to be assessed before manager Eddie Howe names his squad for the visit of the Clarets to Vitality Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this morning, Howe said: “Adam Smith is improving. I don’t know whether he will be fit enough to return, you have to be very careful with hamstring injuries.”

Howe said Dan Gosling and Junior Stanislas, who both featured against Leicester having recently recovered from injury, would be “better for the game”.

Asked for an update on Steve Cook, Simon Francis and Lewis Cook, Howe told the media: “Steve Cook is doing okay. He’s still quite a long way from being available for selection.

“He’s improved, he’s out on the grass for the first time, albeit at a very low intensity. We hope we can build him up in the next few weeks and hope to get him back before the end of the season.

“Lewis Cook and Simon Francis are still positive in their rehab and are making good strides. They have their different targets and we still feel Cookie is slightly ahead of Simon but they have had no setbacks and are doing well.”

The Cherries are five points above the 17th-placed Clarets and host Sean Dyche’s team on the back of winning one and drawing two of their past eight games in the Premier League.

Howe said: “It is a disappointing return. Like with any time when you’re not quite at your best, I think there are a whole host of different reasons. I don’t think there is one thing you can point at and say that’s the reason, I think there are a combination of factors.

“For us, we are just looking at the next game and looking to get back to the level of performance we know we are capable of.

“Last week, I think we fell below that and, in front of our own supporters, we can’t afford to not deliver tomorrow.

“It’s very clear we have to give our absolute best, give everything to the game and hope that will be enough to get us the result.”

Howe, commenting on the Cherries’ 4-0 defeat at Turf Moor in September, said: “It was a strange game because there were lots of aspects of our performance that were pretty good. But it does get lost, of course, in that scoreline.

“You can’t cling to too many positives after getting beaten 4-0 away from home. It was a really strong start to the season and that was a momentarily disappointing day.

“We’re very keen to perform tomorrow for a whole host of different reasons, the main thing being that last week we felt we were disappointed with what we delivered.

“But the lads have trained very well this week, there has been a good response to the disappointment and we’re very keen to try to put last week right.”

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