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Cherries: Ed sweats over duo's fitness
Published : 24 Aug 2009 07:00:00
BOSS Eddie Howe is hoping key pair Steve Fletcher and Liam Feeney will avoid becoming the latest additions to Cherries mounting injury crisis. Fletcher and Feeney were both forced off during the second half as Cherries 100 per cent winning start in League Two bit the dust at Northampton on Saturday. Feeney, who played a starring role as Cherries took maximum points from their first three games, was replaced by Alan Connell after 66 minutes at Sixfields. The 22-year-old winger had turned in one of his least effective displays before he was withdrawn from the firing line due to a nagging thigh problem. Targetman Fletcher, who has also been pivotal to Cherries early-season success, perished 10 minutes from time after failing to run off the effects of a hamstring pull. Both Fletcher and Feeney were assessed by Cherries physio Steve Hard yesterday and are unlikely to train during the early part of this week. However, with his squad already close to breaking point, Howe will be desperate to see the pair recover in time to face Crewe at Dean Court in five days. Howe confirmed both Fletcher and Feeney would only be referred for precautionary scans should their respective symptoms fail to ease in the next few days. And with Cherries subject to a transfer embargo and Shaun Cooper, Danny Hollands and Jeff Goulding all currently laid up, another injury is the last thing Howe would need. Speaking to the Daily Echo last night, Howe said: Were hoping both Fletch and Liam will be okay and hoping neither of them is serious. There is a possibility Fletch might be able to train before the end of the week and be available for the Crewe game. At this moment in time, its difficult to say because its quite early in the week. Well see how he is in the next couple of days and take it from there. Liam has got a slight thigh problem and, again, were hoping its not serious. But, like Fletch, well have to see how it reacts and see if he can train before Saturday. Despite the injuries and the restraints caused by the ongoing embargo, Howe put on a brave face when asked by the Daily Echo about his lot. He added: Every team is going to pick up injuries at some stage during the season. Northampton picked up two during the first 20 minutes on Saturday. Its a common problem throughout the country. Were in a slightly different position because we cant bring in anybody who goes down and that will test us, like it would anybody else. The Cobblers recorded a 2-0 win over Cherries thanks to Bayo Akinfenwas sixth-minute strike and a Ben Marshall effort six minutes from time.