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First team

Team news: Smith out, Stanislas has operation

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be short of two right-hand options with Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas both being ruled out for Saturday’s match with Southampton.

Full-back Smith was named in the starting line-up for last weekend’s home match with Fulham but pulled out before kick-off after suffering an injury in the warm up.

Junior Stanislas then stepped into Smith’s right-back berth but had to be removed after 20 minutes with a hamstring injury. In his pre-Southampton press conference manager Eddie Howe gave feedback on the pair’s progress.

“The long-term injuries are the same as before but we can now add to that list Junior Stanislas who went under the knife yesterday and will now be out for around three to four months. That’s a big blow for him and a big blow for us, but he’ll come back stronger,” he said.

“Adam will definitely be missing tomorrow, we’ll have to see if he’s back before the end of the season, but we’re hopeful he’s not someone with a long-term injury.”

Asked of the prospect of his squad’s young members receiving minutes in the final three games, Howe responded: “I’d love to integrate younger players into the team but they have to be good enough. It’s something we’ll look at and we possibly may have that chance before the end of the season, but they have to be ready.”

With nine points left to play for in 2018/19, Howe spoke about ending the season on a positive note, starting with the Saturday match against rivals Southampton.

“We don’t want to go into next season with negative momentum,” explained the manager. “The way we finish the season is very important. We have to go into Southampton and give a good account of ourselves, we know how big the game is for our supporters.

“Southampton have been in great form, done very well since the new manager went in there with their mentality, so we know we’re going to need to be at our very best.

“It will be a very entertaining game I’m sure the atmosphere will be very good. We need to make sure we impose ourselves on the game and our last away game in Brighton will be a good platform, we need to match the intensity of that performance.”

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