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First Team

Team news: Begovic, Solanke & Stacey latest


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Asmir Begovic is likely to be fit to play in Saturday's match at Nottingham Forest, though the 'keeper is managing an ongoing injury.

Fellow stopper Mark Travers was brought back from his loan spell at Swindon Town earlier this week, with caretaker manager Jonathan Woodgate explaining the situation in his pre-match press conference.

"We're managing the situation with an injury that Asmir has," he said. "I thought it was important that we brought backup in with experience in that role, and Travs has that.

"He's had a good loan so he'll be sharp enough, so we're just managing Asmir's injury at the minute, he'll be okay."

Woodgate will be in charge of the Cherries again for the game at the City Ground, and he spoke about the injury situations of Dominic Solanke, Jack Stacey and Rodrigo Riquelme.

"Dom's going to be another four or five weeks, originally it could have been a bit longer. I don't want to push players on injuries, I want them back when they're 100% and can last the full season," he explained.

"Jack Stacey's going to be two to three weeks with a thigh strain so again we'll take our time and get him 100% right. 

"Riquelme has a slight groin issue and hopefully he should be fit on Monday."

After two wins in a week, Woodgate spoke about the squad he has at his disposal and the importance of competition within it, with even those not selected in the first 11 having a key role to play.

"There's now competition for places, every player's pushing each other," he said. "You look at the centre of midfield and the choices we've got, the ten role, the wingers, I've got to pick the right team for what I think can win the game.

"Every player has got a part to play. With subs coming on you might not need them until the 80th minute, then someone comes on and wins you the game. The subs as well are so important now, especially with the games coming quick and fast."

With attentions rapidly turning to the 12.30pm kick-off in the East Midlands, Woodgate is well aware of the tough test promised by Saturday's hosts and their well-regarded leader.

He said: "Chris Hughton's been a fantastic manager. He's experienced, knows the league inside out and he's turned their fortunes around.

"When you don't start well in the Championship it's difficult to get away from that. He's doing that now, they've lost two in 12 and had some big results of late.

"We're going up there confident but we can't be overconfident because we know how good a team Forest can be."

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