AFC Bournemouth V Burnley at Vitality Stadium : Match Preview

Wilshere will not be back at Bournemouth next season, says boss Howe

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe accepts it will be “very difficult” for the club to bring Jack Wilshere back to the Vitality Stadium next season.

The England international has seen his season-long loan spell on the south coast cut short after suffering a fractured leg during last month’s away defeat at Tottenham.

The 25-year-old returned to Bournemouth as part of his early rehabilitation programme and said his goodbyes to the rest of the squad.

Howe, though, does not believe Wilshere, who has faced a series of injury setbacks during his career, will be turning out in a Cherries shirt again any time soon.

“Jack did part of his rehab here, he has now gone back to Arsenal, but it was great to see him for the week he was with us,” Howe said.

“It was really nice to be able to speak to him and also for him to see all the players again because after the Tottenham game he suffered the injury and the players had not seen him (since).

“It was really nice to be able to spend time with him, to talk to him and wish him well for the future.”

Asked if there would be any chance to bring Wilshere back next season, Howe replied: “No, I think that is going to be very difficult for us.

“When we signed him on loan, and I have said this many times, the plan was for him to stay for a season and then to go back to Arsenal to evaluate his future.”

Bournemouth drew 2-2 with Stoke last weekend, which proved enough to mathematically secure their place in the Premier League once again.

The Cherries are now on a three-match unbeaten run as they prepare for the visit of Burnley, who themselves are all but certain to retain their top-flight status following promotion.

Howe maintains there can be no switching off for the final two matches as he targets an improvement on the previous campaign.

“We will try and go as strong as we can, to finish as high up the league as we can, so there is a big incentive for us, for a whole host of reasons,” Howe said at a press conference.

“We try and improve every year, that has been our big way of working really, trying to develop players to improve the team and step by step we have been able to do that.

“This year the objective was to do the same, to improve on the 42 points and 16th (place) which we had achieved the season before.

“Now we have got two games left to try to do that.”

Bournemouth expect to have midfielder Dan Gosling back in contention again following a calf problem.

Ryan Fraser will be monitored on a tight Achilles, but striker Benik Afobe is still sidelined by a hamstring strain.

Meanwhile, Sam Vokes believes the pressure has been lifted at Burnley but wants a strong finish to the season.

“It’s important we keep our head in the game,” he told Burnley’s official website.

“It will be nice to celebrate at the end of the season but for now it’s time to get the job done.

“To hit that 40-point mark last weekend was a massive achievement. It was something we set out at the start of the season to achieve – survival.

“To have done that almost with two games to go is a nice feeling. But although the pressure is off we have still got a job to do. We want to finish as high as we can.”

Defender Michael Keane, who was an ever-present in the Premier League this season until missing last week’s draw with West Brom due to a knock, has returned to training and is being monitored by boss Sean Dyche.

Fellow centre-back Ben Mee is unlikely to make his comeback from a shin problem, while winger George Boyd could return following a knee injury.

Source: PAR

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