Date: 23rd June 2013 at 7:14am
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AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased with the signing of Elliott Ward as it increases his defensive strength in depth.

The Cherries ended last season with Miles Addison, Stephane Zubar and Joe Partington all out injured, all three players who are capable of playing at centre back.

That left just Tommy Elphick and Steve Cook as the clubs only fit recognised centre halfs.

The injuries to Charlie Daniels and Elphick earlier in the season had highlighted the sides lack of defensive options, with on loan Dan Seaborne moving into central defence alongside Cook, with right winger Matt Ritchie having to fill in at left back. Whilst right back Simon Francis had also adopted a more central role earlier in the season.

With the signing of Ward and the hopeful returns of Addison, Zubar and Partington during pre-season, Howe now believes he has significant cover ahead of the new Championship season.

Howe told the Daily Echo

“Competition has to be fierce in every position. The centre-halves we had last season were outstanding for us but it was certainly an area where we needed greater strength in depth.

“Last season, especially towards the end, we were living on the edge a bit in terms of one injury could have really hurt us.

“It was an area we identified as needing another body. We wanted to go for someone of quality and that is what we have done by bringing in Elliott. There is going to be competition in every department but our defence definitely needed another centre-half.”


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