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First team

Team news: Long & Pearson available, Solanke & Stanislas uncertain


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

New signings Shane Long and Ben Pearson are ready to make their debuts for AFC Bournemouth, says Jonathan Woodgate, who is in temporary charge of the Cherries.

Striker Long was signed on loan until the end of the season late on Monday night, while Pearson watched Tuesday's match with Sheffield Wednesday from the bench after sealing his move from Preston North End last week.

After a tumultuous week which also saw manager Jason Tindall's departure, Woodgate stepped in for the pre-match press conference ahead of the Championship fixture.

He spoke about the boost of having two experienced players to call upon, but started with an assessment of Dominic Solanke and Junior Stanislas, who are both doubts for Saturday.

"We're waiting for news on a scan result on Dom. Junior Stanislas is I'd say 60-40, we'll see how he is today, he's got a bit of an ankle problem, all the rest of the squad are fine.

"It's great that Shane's come in, he'll be an absolute asset for us moving forwards. He's someone who leads from the front, works constantly, works for the team and is a selfless player.

"I think we'll only benefit from his time here. It was a medium training session yesterday and he looked okay, he looked fine.

"Shane and Ben Pearson are two good players. I know them both, played against Long before when he was at Reading and I know Ben Pearson and I always thought he was an outstanding footballer who had a bit of everything in midfield.

"Both of them will be up for selection.

"We've got some exceptional players in the team, we need to pull together and make a team out of the exceptional players."

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