Cherries: Lovell's start is a spur for striker
SENIOR professional Steve Lovell revealed his determination to play a major role in Cherries' Championship quest despite having yet to reach peak fitness. The seasoned striker is targeting a regular place in Lee Bradbury's XI after making his first start since rejoining the club in Saturday's 2-0 victory at Notts County. Lovell, who came through the youth ranks at Dean Court, has seen his campaign plagued by a long-standing ankle problem. The 30-year-old made his eagerly-awaited first team return earlier this month by appearing as a second-half substitute at Peterborough. And the 63-minute outing at Meadow Lane was Lovell's second start for Cherries, his full debut coming as a teenager in a home 0-0 draw against Chesterfield on April 24, 1999. Now in his second spell at Dean Court, the former SPL star is keen to throw his valuable experience behind Cherries' promotion push as he builds his match fitness. Lovell told the Echo: I was delighted that Bradders gave me a chance. The result went our way and I thought the boys did fantastically. It was just what we needed. I felt fine and actually felt better the longer the game went on. I'm only going to get match fit by playing so I was delighted to get out there again. I have been out for a year so it is almost like coming back for pre-season, minus a season. Players aren't into their stride until quite a few games into a season normally. I am going to be short of full fitness and have got to keep working at it. I just hope I can give the team something. I'm feeling all right within myself and the injury has been good, so I'm just looking forward to playing. Bradders knows the situation. I am 100 per cent behind the team doing well. Asked if he was happy to keep answering his manager's call, Lovell said: Definitely. Bradders knows how I feel and I want to start every game, but it is up to him to decide which team he wants to put out. Being a professional, all you want to do is start games and play. I was delighted to do that, especially coming back with the three points, which made the trip back a bit more enjoyable. Lovell partnered 18-year-old hotshot Danny Ings in attack against County and he believes the quality player has a promising future. He added: I have trained with him and I know what he is about. I was delighted to see him get a goal. He has had a bit of a rough time, sometimes, with comments he has had aimed at him. He is still young but he has got huge potential.
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