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14 October 2016
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Eddie Howe reveals some Bournemouth players injured following international duty

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is disappointed he will be without a number of players for their Premier League game against Hull on Saturday.

The Cherries squad was reduced to around "13 to 14 players" for training whilst members of the squad, including Brad Smith, Joshua King, Max Gradel, Lewis Cook and Nathan Ake, linked up with their countries for the international break.

Howe admitted in the pre-match press conference that there were a few players who had come back with injuries but concedes it is part of playing such a high standard of football.

He said: "It's been a difficult few weeks; we have a few people returned from international duty with injuries which is disappointing, but I am not going to name names.

"It is one of the perils of when your players go away. They come back and you are not in control of how they return.

"The players that have stayed are in good form and have trained well.

"We are worried about one being more long-term but the others shouldn't be too long. When players go away in peak physical condition and they don't come back, it is part and parcel of international football.

"When the players go the managers have the right to pick them. These are just injuries picked up in games."

Bournemouth face a Hull side who currently sit 15th in the table but haven't won in the league since their opening two games in August.

The Tigers head coach Mike Phelan was named the full-time boss on Thursday after taking over as caretaker in August when Steve Bruce left the post.

Cherries' boss Howe believes it is important that they have made a decision as it will settle the players and "remove constant questions" over his position.

He said: "Mike has done a great job, a lot has been made of their summer. But it's probably helped them create a siege mentality.

"They've certainly started the season very well. The most impressive thing he has done is change the way they play - they are a very attractive team to watch."

Bournemouth are unbeaten in the league in their last two games after a 1-0 win over Everton and a 2-2 draw with Watford before the international break.

Phelan could be joined in the dug-out by skipper Michael Dawson during Saturday's clash and his first task will be to find a replacement for coach Stephen Clemence.

Clemence has left the KCOM Stadium to team back up with new Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce and while Phelan said he will now consider all his options - goalkeeping coach Gary Walsh and academy boss Tony Pennock will assist him at Bournemouth - Dawson has also been invited to join him.

Defender Dawson, 32, has yet to appear for Hull this season after sustaining knee ligament damage in the summer.

"He's going to play for the Under-21s (on Friday night) and then follow us down to Bournemouth and be around the place, be around me, be around the staff," Phelan said.

"He's going to take it all in. It might be a little bit of an experience for him, but I want him there because he's the captain."

Phelan added: "He has his ideas, he's an experienced guy and he's captain of the club and I'd like to give him the opportunity where he can see it at the coal face.

"He understands what it's all about and I think that can get back in the dressing room a little bit and they can understand where I'm coming from.

"He wants to play more than anything, but right now he can do both. This weekend is big for him and he'll see it from both sides."

Phelan said he would consider promoting from within and would focus on the appointment of a new assistant after the Bournemouth game.

"I'll try and get people in if I think they deserve to be here, but there are a couple of good guys, many good guys, here at this football club who deserve an opportunity," he said.

Phelan, first offered a deal last month, said his remit was to keep the club in the top flight.

When asked the length of his contract, Phelan added: "It's quite simple, it's until the end of the season.

"It was something we were too-ing and fro-ing with, but I understand certain situations with the club are still pending, shall we say."

Hull's vice-chairman Ehab Allam said ahead of the recent defeat to Manchester United that he hoped a club takeover would be completed in September, while the club have been in talks with several separate interested parties.

All 11 of his players on international duty bar Dieumerci Mbokani returned unscathed and Phelan expects the striker to be sidelined for several weeks.

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