Monday 11 December 2017

Eddie Howe: Bournemouth a different team without Callum Wilson

Callum Wilson faces a long spell on the sidelines
Callum Wilson faces a long spell on the sidelines

Eddie Howe says Bournemouth will be a "different team" without injured top scorer Callum Wilson.

Wilson had made a stunning start to life in the Premier League with five goals in his first six matches for the newly-promoted Cherries.

But he was struck down by an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee at Stoke last weekend and faces at least six months on the sidelines.

Glenn Murray replaced Wilson at the Britannia Stadium and looks set to make his first Cherries start since his deadline-day switch from Crystal Palace when Watford arrive on the south coast.

"We're going to be a different team now with Callum being out," Cherries boss Howe told reporters at a press conference. "It is up to everybody to step up and give more.

"Last season we were so consistent with our team selection, so this challenge is new for us. But the players who have stepped in have done well so far.

"I don't think you'll see a real change in style, but we are going to have to adapt."

Bournemouth have had wretched luck with injuries this season and Wilson is joined on the sidelines by Tommy Elphick, Harry Arter, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel.

"One of the loneliest things about being injured is the isolation, but the thing they have in common is that the injured players will have each other to lean on," added Howe.

"Callum took the news of his injury like a man. He really impressed me with how he handled the bad news."

Bournemouth were promoted along with Watford last season, having pipped the Hornets to the Championship title on the final day of the campaign.

Watford have since made a host of new additions and have a new manager in Quique Sanchez Flores, so Howe expects a different sort of challenge.

"We enjoyed our tussles with Watford last year," he added.

"They are a good footballing side and are very dangerous in attack.

"Last season is history. Saturday is a new game and a new challenge and we will have to be at our best."

Press Association

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