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First team

Team news: Late Checks ahead of Old Trafford

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Eddie Howe says he has some late fitness checks to make to his squad before he names his Saturday team at Old Trafford.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, via a video chat, from Vitality Stadium, the Cherries boss assessed his squad before the trip to play Manchester United.

“We’ve got a couple of players we need to check today, we’ll see how they are before we name our squad,” he said.

“I can’t say who they are.”

Howe will be able to call on midfielder Jefferson Lerma, who avoided a tenth yellow card of the season in Wednesday’s match with Newcastle, passing the threshold for an automatic two-game suspension.

Callum Wilson serves the second and final match of his similar ban, but will become available again for Wednesday evening’s match with Tottenham.

Howe spoke of the mentality and belief his squad will have to call upon if they’re to battle to Premier League survival this season.

“Staying together and staying positive with each other is hugely important,” he said. “Nothing can change the past we can only change the future, the only way we’re going to do that is to stay with each other.

“A lot of outsiders will say we’re done, we’re finished. But historically at this club that’s always been the way. In many different aspects we’ve been written off but we’ve managed to overcome and against the odds we’ve come through and achieved great things, we’re going to have call on all those resources now.

“One point in seven games is nowhere near what we need, but the beautiful thing about that is that it is the past. Although the six games we have are very difficult on paper, sometimes that can bring out the best in us.

“I’m still very much with the team and very much of the positive mindset that we can do it, but certainly we’re going to have to elevate everything to a new level from what we’ve seen in the last few games.”

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