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Cherries duo walking disciplinary tightrope
Published : 15 Oct 2009 07:00:00
Cherries boss Eddie Howe wants star striker Brett Pitman to start treading carefully as he walks a disciplinary tightrope. But, in contrast, Howe knows defender Lee Bradbury may find it difficult to watch his step as suspensions threaten to impact on his wafer-thin squad. Pitman and Bradbury are both perilously close to being hit with one-match bans having each collected four bookings this season. A fifth yellow card would earn them a suspension, which would kick in seven days from the date of the offence. Pitman received his fourth caution following a lunging late tackle on defender Phil Picken during Cherries 2-1 defeat by Chesterfield on Saturday. Bradbury was fortunate to escape picking up his fifth after conceding a penalty in the Johnstones Paint Trophy reverse at Northampton eight days ago. And with Cherries resources already decimated by injury, the last thing Howe would need would be to lose players to the sin-bin. Howe told the Daily Echo: You look at someone like Brett and wouldnt think there was a chance he would be on four bookings so that is disappointing. Hes not the type of player who should be picking up yellow cards so its something Ill have to have a chat with him about and address. We dont want to be losing him for any games, particularly to suspension. He is an important member of the team and its something hes going to have to look at. With the squad weve got at the moment, its a road we dont want to be going down. Howe, a combative and cultured defender during his playing days, acknowledges bookings can be an occupational hazard and do go with the territory of playing at the back. It is different for someone like Bradders, added Howe, who was sent off only once during his career for two bookings during Cherries 0-0 draw at Swindon on Boxing Day 2001. As a defender, there are times when you have to make certain decisions which you know could end up with you getting a yellow card. Its a different area of the pitch and Lee will invariably have to pick up a booking. Having been a defender myself, I dont think my manager telling me to tread carefully would have made any difference. Bradders is a fair and honest player and if he sees the ball, he will go for it. Sometimes, you are a split-second late and can end up with a yellow card. As a defender, you cant change your game or think about it. If he gets suspended, we would have to deal with it but I wont be telling him to change the way he plays. He is another important member of the squad and we dont want to lose anybody to suspension. In our current situation, it would hurt us badly if we were to lose any players for any game.