AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe relishing goalkeeper dilemma

Eddie Howe

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says goalkeeper Ryan Allsop has a fight on his hands to get back into the side.

Allsop was suspended for the Cherries' last game a fortnight ago, a ban which led to the club bringing in West Ham's Stephen Henderson for three months.

With both available for the trip to Nottingham Forest, Howe says it is up to the pair to earn a starting berth.

"When bringing in loan players I want to make the team better, but not just the squad," Howe told BBC Radio Solent.

"We've brought in a very good goalkeeper who is going to compete for the number one shirt.

"It is down to Rocky [Allsop] and Stephen Henderson to fight it out."

Howe says the international break has helped get some of his squad back up to full fitness - having sent winger Matt Ritchie and left-back Charlie Daniels to see a specialist in Rome.external-link

"The squad is looking a lot stronger but we still have some players out," he said.

"When you look at the cost of players and their wages, the board were very supportive and backed my desire to get the players seen by the best specialists in the world. We value everyone in our squad and other players will be going out to Rome if they need it. They are all important to the club.

"Charlie's injury has healed but he is a long way behind in terms of match fitness. Matt Ritchie is going to be a longer road back and we are going to have to manage his rehab correctly this time."

Another on-loan West Ham player, midfielder Jack Collison, is a doubt after an ongoing knee problem kept him out of international contention with Wales this week.

Meanwhile winger Marc Pugh says the players will draw motivation from derogatory comments written about the club in a Nottingham newspaper this week.

In the lead up to Saturday's game an article by an anonymous Forest fan published in the Nottingham Post, called the Cherries inferior, small-time, and minnows, amongst other things.

And Pugh says they will be out to prove their critics wrong at the weekend.

"We've just got to show people what we can do," said Pugh.

"There has been something written in the press up there that we've been made aware of and we need to go there and prove them wrong."