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Conlon and Clarke disciplined by City
Stuart McCall insists axed duo Barry Conlon and Matt Clarke will be back in his Bournemouth battle plans tomorrow.
The pair were dropped completely from Saturday’s loss at Exeter following a breach of club discipline.
McCall refused to go into details about the offence but confirmed that the two players had been punished. He said: “It’s an internal matter and has been dealt with in the dressing room. It’s a non-football related issue and they’ve been punished for it.
“We’ll keep it private but it’s over and done with now. They are both back in the squad.”
City head for Dean Court on the back of four straight away defeats. They have lost both games since thrashing Aldershot 5-0 nine days ago.
The 1-0 slip-up at Exeter, to a freak deflected cross-cum-shot, dropped McCall’s men out of the play-off zone on goal difference.
We’ll keep it private but it’s over and done with now. They are both back in the squadStuart McCall
But the City chief remains adamant that the third automatic promotion slot is well within their reach.
McCall added: “There’s still only three points in it so of course we’re aiming for that third spot.
“We have to make sure we finish in the top seven but that doesn’t take our focus away from wanting to win every game.
“If we went on a little run again and won our next two or three, we could well be looking at third. We’re not being stupid enough to say we’re out of it.
“There’s a long way to go yet and if we have to settle for a trip to Wembley then naturally we will do that. But we do need a couple of wins back under our belt quickly. We should have got something from Exeter but we didn’t and we have to put that right.”
City controlled large periods of a dour game but fired their second blank in a week after Dean Moxey’s 20th-minute fluke clinch the victory.
Peter Thorne was limited to a bench role because of a stiff neck so McCall employed Nicky Law as a makeshift strike partner for Michael Boulding.
McCall said: “Thorney wasn’t even going to be on the bench but he was desperate to be involved. We were out of options.
“The last time Lawsy played up front for Sheffield United reserves he scored four so we just went for something a little different.
“I don’t think anyone would say we didn’t deserve at least a point. There was no lack in effort or desire, just not enough cutting edge because we had three or four respectable chances.
“It wasn’t another Barnet; it wasn’t a poor performance. We just didn’t do enough in the penalty box. We got done the other night by two dubious decisions and now we’ve been done by a freak goal. We were on top for most parts of the game.”