Eddie Howe wants Bournemouth's strikers to cover for Callum Wilson

03 February 2017 12:54

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has challenged the rest of his frontmen to step up and help fill the void left by a season-ending knee injury to Callum Wilson.

The 24-year-old, who has scored six goals for the Cherries this season, ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a training session on Wednesday.

Wilson spent more than six months recovering from an injury to his right knee during last season before eventually returning to action in April as Bournemouth maintained their place in the Premier League.

While the loss of Wilson is a blow for the squad, Howe feels it also now provides an opportunity for someone else.

"Callum worked so hard to get back, so to see him suffer an injury again is heartbreaking," Howe said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League match at Everton.

"It was just one of those things, I think we could all see immediately that he was in pain and it was difficult for us to see that, b ut if anyone can come back, he can.

"Callum will see a specialist today, after that we will know more about the extent of his injury and his recovery time after that."

Howe added: "We are looking to the future and we have lost a valuable player in Callum Wilson, so other players will have to step up."

Max Gradel remains very much in Howe's plans following his return from international duty with Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations and seeing a reported £4million deadline day transfer to Hull fail to materialise .

"Everyone is aware of how we feel about Max," said Howe of the player signed from St-Etienne in the summer of 2015.

"He has got a lot to offer and it is up to us to get him back to his best.

"Max has got a big part to play between now and the end of the season."

Bournemouth were beaten 2-0 at home by relegation-battlers Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.

Despite sitting in 14th place, the Cherries have picked up just one point since being knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round at Millwall.

Howe hopes his players can draw inspiration from their meeting with the Toffees in September, when a first-half goal from Junior Stanislas proved enough to secure a hard-earned 1-0 win.

"We came up against Everton earlier in the season when they were on a very good run. They made a flying start to the season and we were very good that day - the challenge is to do the same again," Howe said.

"Goodison Park is a really good place to play football. The fans do get behind them, so we will have to show some real strength.

"We are not getting results at the moment, so that means we need to regroup, refocus and dig even deepe r to get a result this weekend."

Source: PA