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First team

Team news: King back but not yet ready

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Joshua King is back training with the Cherries but isn’t yet ready for a first-team return as the side get set head to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

King missed last weekend’s Championship opener due to a knock, with manager Jason Tindall using his pre-match press conference on Friday to report on the striker’s readiness for a return.

“It’s really pleasing, Josh King’s a terrific footballer,” he said. “He is a great addition to have back within the group.

"You can’t have enough good players, he’s had a couple of days training but he’s probably a bit behind the other players. We’re delighted to have him back and hopefully he’ll be able to play next week.

“I’ll be assessing him every day like I do every player, this weekend is too soon for him to be involved, but hopefully he’ll be back in contention soon.

“There’s always speculation with a lot of players, but all we can control is now and until someone tells me otherwise I’m delighted to have Josh available to me.”

With two tough games in the opening week of the campaign, Tindall says he has no new injury concerns, while Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win also increased his options with young players able to take their opportunities.

“Fortunately we have no new injury concerns from the Crystal Palace game which was refreshing and pleasing for me,” said the manager.

“After the Blackburn game we had Chris Mepham and Steve Cook who were maybe 70 or 75 percent fit going into the game, but they’ve had a good week’s training so hopefully they’ll be in a good place.

“For me it’s great. I’ve got huge belief in all my players here. I feel I could pick any one of them and I know they won’t let me down, that was evident in the game against Crystal Palace and in the previous two games against Blackburn and West Ham.

“I’m sure whatever team is selected they’ll do well and hopefully deliver a winning performance.”

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In the opposition camp, news broke on Thursday that Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Saturday’s match as he isolates.

Tindall passed on his best wishes to his opposite number and detailed the current situation regarding the pandemic and how it’s affecting preparations.

“It was a big surprise to hear that news when it broke,” said Tindall. “First of all I’d like to wish Neil and the other members of his staff all the best. Hopefully they’re’ okay and I wish them a speedy recovery.

“In terms of the dynamics of the match I don’t think it will affect it too much. I’m sure Neil is in regular contact with his coaches and squad and they’ll put in a performance he’ll be pleased with

“We’ve had no player here express concerns to us and because of the protocols we have in place here at the football club you tend to feel very safe in your own environment.

“Doctors at both clubs have been in regular contact and with the fans back in the stadium as well they don’t seem to be too concerned. I’m sure when we get to Middlesbrough it will be a safe environment for us to be in.

“We’re not expecting anything other than a difficult game so we need to make sure we’re ready for what’s to come.”

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