Howe hopes to have midfield duo for trip to Watford

Dean Marney could be available on Saturday
Dean Marney could be available on Saturday

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe hopes to have midfield pair Dean Marney and skipper Chris McCann both available for Saturday’s trip to Watford.

Marney missed Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Millwall after the birth of his first child, while McCann was forced off before half-time with a hamstring problem.

Howe explained: “We lost Deano before the game.

“His wife’s just given birth and apparently she’s lost a lot of blood so he had to be with his wife, which we totally understood.

“Then Chris felt his hamstring. That’s two of our mainstays in midfield and it’s difficult because we had no other centre midfielders.

“I don’t think it’s a serious one, just a slight strain, but it was enough for him to come off, and that was a bitter blow really.”

He added: “Touch wood Deano will be back with us.

“I thought we missed his creativity and his passing ability, and we missed Josh (McQuoid) as well.

“We were a little bit disjointed but it was a chance for players to come in to stake a claim. They’ve been waiting patiently for their chances, so it’s disappointing.

“We’ve been fortunate Dean, Chris and Marvin (Bartley) have all stayed fit. This is the first time that we’ve lost two of them. We hope to get them back as soon as we can.”

As it was, Howe had to move wideman Ross Wallace inside and play 3-4-1-2: “It was a case of re-adjusting and bringing Ross inside which was difficult from then on in.

“We wanted to put an extra body in midfield because we didn’t have a natural central midfielder apart from Marvin. We wanted to try to attack and put all our front players on so we went 3-5-2 and I thought we did alright for 20 minutes, but then the third goal’s killed us off.”

But a loan remains the last resort: “We’ll see how serious Chris is.”