Eddie Howe hoping return of Tyrone Mings will help boost Bournemouth

13 April 2017 12:38

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe hopes the return of defender Tyrone Mings from his five-match ban will help lift the squad for their Premier League run-in as they prepare to tackle second-placed Tottenham.

Mings was handed an extended suspension by the Football Association after it was deemed he had stamped on the head of Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a heated contest at Old Trafford on March 4.

Both the player and club continued to protest his innocence, and Howe admits it has been a testing time for the former Ipswich man, who spent an enforced lengthy spell on the sidelines as he recovered from a serious knee problem suffered at the start of the 2015/2016 campaign.

"It can seem like a long time five games, so we are delighted to have him back," Howe said at a press conference.

"He has been frustrated because he i s fit and he has had a long-term injury to contend with previously."

Bournemouth saw their unbeaten five-game run brought to an end with a 3-1 home defeat by leaders Chelsea last weekend.

The Cherries head into the Easter fixtures in 15th place, some seven points clear of the relegation battle and needing probably at least one more win to secure a third consecutive season in the top flight.

Howe, though, knows getting a positive result at White Hart Lane will be no easy assignment, with England forward Harry Kane having returned from an ankle injury with a second-half cameo in the 4-0 demolition of Watford.

"Kane is one of their key players, but it is very difficult to focus on one player because if he doesn't punish you, someone else will," the Bournemouth manager said.

"You always want to play against their best players, but you do tend not to focus on the individual player unless there is key information and a key strength or weakness, but we will be well prepared.

"We know we need more points so we are desperate to do that and if we don't do that in our next game, we have got five other games to do so."

Bournemouth midfielder Dan Gosling is doubtful with a knee problem, but winger Junior Stanislas could feature as he recovers from a groin strain.

Source: PA