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Cherries: Down on numbers but high on quality
Published : 04 Sep 2009 07:00:00
BOSS Eddie Howe cast his eye over his ever-diminishing Cherries squad and then admitted he had a selection problem on his hands. Howe worked with just 13 fit and available outfield players when he put his charges through their paces at Dean Court yesterday. But despite the paucity in numbers, Howe conceded Cherries display during their midweek win over Yeovil in the Johnstones Paint Trophy had given him plenty to ponder. Defender Scott Guyett, midfielder Marvin Bartley and striker Alan Connell all turned in assured performances after being restored to the starting line-up against the Glovers. And Howe knows he faces a few tricky decisions ahead of naming his side for Cherries League Two showdown at Torquay tomorrow (3pm). He said: Its a nice dilemma because they all did very well. It does give you a selection problem and, as a manager, thats the type of problem you want. Im going to have to think long and hard about which team I play and, whatever I decide, it will be the one best suited to trying to get a positive result. No doubt there will be one or two players disappointed but thats the nature of the game and its how they respond that will be the key thing. It was pleasing against Yeovil because although we dont have the numbers, it showed we have the quality. The boys who came in were excellent and it gives me a massive boost. Defensive linchpin Jason Pearce is Howes main injury concern ahead of the trip to Devon after a calf problem kept him out against Yeovil, although goalkeeper Shwan Jalals groin is on the mend. Howe will again be without youngsters Joe Partington and Josh McQuoid due to international duty, while Steve Fletcher and Danny Hollands have an outside chance of returning to the squad. We are a little thin on the ground but thats been the situation for a while and we will just crack on, said Howe. While things are going well, its looking good. Jason is still doubtful and we will assess him on the morning of the match to give him every opportunity to be fit. Jal (Jalal) will be fine. We just wanted to limit his kicking on Tuesday and it was a precaution. Having secured their return to the Football League in May following a two-year exile, Torquay have beaten both Chesterfield and Burton Albion in their opening five league games. The Gulls also progressed in the JPT at the expense of Cheltenham. Howe said: I dont think many teams will get a lot out of going there this season. We are expecting another tough game but will go there with confidence on the back of our good run. Rather than being a group of individuals, they are a good team and will be a strong and powerful unit. We will have to match their work-rate levels and intensity in order to get anything. Cherries: Jalal, Bradbury, Cummings, Guyett, Garry, Bartley, Igoe, Robinson, Feeney, Connell, Pitman, Molesley, Pearce, Hollands, Fletcher, Webb, Tindall, Thomas. Gulls: Bevan, Robertson, Nicholson, Todd, Charnock, Carlisle, Wroe, Hargreaves, Stevens, Sills, Benyon, Rendell, Thompson, Mansell, Hodges, Williams, Brough, Joyce, Carayol, Poke.