November 28, 2017 / 7:28 AM / a year ago

In-form Smith gives Bournemouth boss Howe selection headache

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs AFC Bournemouth - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - November 25, 2017 Bournemouth's Adam Smith in action with Swansea City's Jordan Ayew REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

(Reuters) - Bournemouth right back Adam Smith’s robust display at Swansea City has given Eddie Howe a pleasant selection headache ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League match against Burnley, the manager has said.

Smith returned to the Bournemouth starting lineup in their goalless draw at the Liberty Stadium as a replacement for captain Simon Francis, who served a one-match ban following his dismissal in 4-0 win over Huddersfield earlier this month.

Although Francis is firmly back in contention, Smith’s confident outing has given Howe food for thought.

“I thought Adam did well against Swansea,” Howe told the Daily Echo. “It was a difficult game to play in because we didn’t have our true rhythm with the ball.

“It was difficult to exert total control, which we like to do, but Adam defended well and used the ball wisely when he had it.

“If you play a back four, one person is going to have to miss out. I will have to go away and pick the best team to play Burnley.”

Bournemouth, currently 13th in the league, recorded 10 points in past five games after claiming just four from their opening eight matches.

With more than two third of the season to play, Howe reckoned his team still had a plenty more to offer this season.

“I feel there is a lot more growth in the team and that is a really good sign,” he added. “It is a really good place to be knowing individuals can do better and the team can do better as well.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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