Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ward's required surgery will stretch the squad

I was sad to hear that Elliott Ward will have to have an operation on his knee following the Exeter Capital One Cup match and is likely to be out of action for two months. Elliott was really only coming back to fitness after he had been recovering from a bash on his knee from running into a hoarding last season, when playing against Leicester City. It means that Baily Cargill is likely to feature more for the Cherries and apparently Ian Harte and Simon Francis have also played in a centre back role before and could act as further cover. One would expect Adam Smith to play as as a full back if necessary as well if Simon Francis moved across to the centre.
Elliott Ward will be out for two months.
All squads have a period when they are a bit stretched and if another injury occurs to a Cherries centre back the team selection will need some careful managing. I doubt that Eddie Howe sees some of the solutions as ideal but in Baily Cargill he has a player who is just getting better every game he plays. Still if Baily has to play with Cook or Elphick it would still be a fairly new partnership and I expect that a lot of work is being done in training to get some better understanding for Baily especially who is likely to have to fill in at some point. 
Cook and Elphick are most likely to start against
Norwich City, but Cargill could also feature.
Elliott Ward, 29, has again been unfortunate and as one of the club's most experienced centre backs I would expect to still see him try and recover as quickly as he can and to be around the team to give advice and support while he is out of the team. Meanwhile, Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick have shown that they are able to keep clean sheets and will be trying again for the Norwich match. Sadly for former Norwich player, Elliott Ward will miss the match he perhaps most wanted to play a part in, although he can use the return fixture (10th Jan 2015) as motivation to recover quickly.

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