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Cherries: MacDonald return is boost for Howe
7:00am Friday 8th February 2013 in Latest Sport
Discussing MacDonald’s return following two months on the sidelines, Howe said: “Shaun has been impressive since coming back and has had a full week’s training. He has looked very good. He is assured on the ball and his technique has been really impressive after such a long lay-off so we are very pleased to have him back.”
Pompey, where Howe spent two years as a player, arrive at Dean Court on the back of a 17-match winless run in the league and are one place off the bottom.
But Howe said: “Everyone on the outside will look at it and assume we will win but we know that football has a dangerous way of reminding you how fragile form can be. We have been trying to remind the players of that all week.”
Howe added: “To see one of my former clubs, and a club I have got great respect for, in such a difficult position is not easy to watch from afar but it must be a lot harder being involved directly.”
Meanwhile, Cherries’ defensive resources could be stretched for the visit of their south coast neighbours.
Although Howe was keen to keep his cards close to his chest, Tommy Elphick, Charlie Daniels and Miles Addison are all thought to be doubts, while Steve Cook’s training has been restricted due to his recent court case.
Daniels has sat out Cherries’ past two games due to a foot problem, while Elphick sustained a knee injury during the 3-0 victory at MK Dons six days ago.
Howe said: “We have got a couple of injury doubts but I would prefer to keep them under wraps. We have got a few players who will be having late fitness tests to see if they can make it and, hopefully, they will.
“If not, we may have to make a couple of changes.”