Fletcher: Lovell's return is like a dream for side
ASSISTANT boss Steve Fletcher is convinced fellow frontman Steve Lovell can be a massive asset for Cherries as the race for a Championship place gathers pace. The injury-plagued striker is set to step up his bid for full fitness in a friendly against a Reading XI this afternoon. Lovell returned to action for the club's reserves earlier this month after almost 12 months on the sidelines with an ankle problem. The former SPL star continued his progression on Saturday when was named in Cherries' matchday squad for the first time since joining on a one-year deal last summer. Although Lovell was an unused substitute and has yet to reach his peak match sharpness, Fletcher believes the experienced forward can provide a big boost to Cherries' promotion charge. When asked about the ex-Portsmouth, Dundee and Aberdeen man, Fletcher told the Echo: It would be great if we could get him fully fit for the last seven or eight games. He will be playing in the reserve game today, which is another step closer to match fitness. He is the type of player who will be a dream to have back in the team because he is such a quality player. He has played at a high standard for most of his career and he will be a great asset to the squad. Whether he is starting or coming off the bench, with his pace and the way he wants to get in behind and play on the shoulders of defenders, he will be a massive asset. For people like myself and Michael Symes, people who win balls in the air and flick things on, he will be great to play with because that is what he looks for the little bits around the big striker. Fletcher added: He is very quick and strong. I remember playing with him when he was a youngster here and he got in the squad and, within half a dozen games, Pompey had snapped him up. He went on to have a great career in Scotland and he is still only 30. It seems like he has been around forever because he started at such a young age. Eddie Howe, his brother, saw a lot of potential in him and thought he would be a big asset and I'm sure he will be.
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