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Bournemouth v Coventry preview

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Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:14:00

UEFA will not be investigating Liverpool's Luis Suarez over an alleged stamp during the second leg of the Europa League match against Zenit St Petersburg last Thursday.

The Uruguayan forward was pictured stepping on defender Tomas Hubocan's back towards the end of the Anfield encounter and some observers felt he deliberately stamped.

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers did not punish Suarez for the incident but UEFA is able to use video evidence if it wishes to review any possible misconduct.

However, UEFA has said its "disciplinary unit has decided not to open a case".

Suarez was on target with a pair of long range free-kicks that night as Liverpool prevailed 3-1 but they went out on the away-goals rule, having lost the first leg 2-0 in Russia.

Boyd could make his return to the Kilmarnock side in Wednesday's SPL clash with Hibernian after re-signing for the Ayrshire club on Saturday.

The 29-year-old has not played since September, when he made his last appearance for Portland Timbers in the MLS.

Boyd previously had an unhappy spell in Turkey with Eskisehirspor, walking out on the club over their failure to pay his wages.

The former Rangers striker, who scored 12 goals for Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest in his one season in England, was eager to be closer to his family and jumped at the chance to sign for the club where he scored 67 goals in his formative years.

And Boyd, who has often been criticised over his effort despite his proven goalscoring record, reiterated throughout his media unveiling today that he appreciated how hard he needed to work to return to form.

Boyd, who is the SPL's all-time top scorer with 164 goals, said: "I feel as if, apart from maybe the first four or five months that I had in America, it's been two years probably wasted in terms of football.

"But I am ready to get back at it and play and this is a great opportunity to do that.

"You learn a lot of things as you grow older. It's part and parcel of football.

"There have been difficult moments but that's in the past now."

Boyd added: "I felt as if I need to go back to basics and start again.

"Kilmarnock gave me the opportunity to do that and it's a great opportunity to take a step back and appreciate what you've got and get your head down, work hard and get games.

"But nobody is just going to turn round and give me them.

"I need to work hard in training to get myself in the team and hopefully between now and the end of the season I can do that and start scoring goals on a regular basis again."

Boyd faces competition from Paul Heffernan, who took his recent tally to six goals in five games when he netted in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Aberdeen, along with fit-again Cillian Sheridan and young forwards William Gros and Rory McKenzie.

"There is competition," he said. "That's a good headache for the manager to have.

"There are options there but I'm hungry and ready for the challenge.

"I have faced many a challenge in my career and this is another one.

"But I'm up for it and ready to get about it and hopefully get back playing football on a regular basis."

Boyd last played for Scotland in the 2-1 win over Liechtenstein in September 2010, but his prospects were given a lift when Gordon Strachan, the manager who signed him for Middlesbrough, replaced Craig Levein.

Boyd harbours ambitions of re-igniting his international career but his immediate targets are more simple.

"I would be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind but the most important thing for me right now is to get back playing football and get in the Kilmarnock team," he said.

"That's what I need to do between now and the end of the season.

"Whatever happens after that happens but right now the most important thing is to get in the Kilmarnock team."

Easter Road on Wednesday night is his first target but there is no certainty he will be involved.

"I have trained for the last two or three months but I have not played a lot of football," he said.

"My last 90 minutes was August and I had 10-15 minutes in September. I know that's not enough. I know myself I need to get games, that's the only way I am going to get my match sharpness.

"I need to get back playing as soon as possible and hopefully Wednesday I'll be available but it's up to me to get myself in the team and score goals to stay there."

Bournemouth have no fresh injury worries as they look to bounce back from their first home defeat under Eddie Howe.

The Cherries lost 1-0 to Sheffield United on Saturday which leaves Howe's men two points off the top of the table and a number of Bournemouth's injury absentees are unlikely to return.

Captain Miles Addison will miss the rest of the campaign with a foot injury sustained back in November while fellow defenders Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels are also missing.

Striker Charlie Sheringham has returned to training and looks set to play for the Cherries' development side this week.

Ryan Fraser, who arrived at the club from Aberdeen in January, made his debut as a substitute against the Blades and is likely to be involved again.

New loan signing Aaron Martin is in contention for his debut while striker Cody McDonald is also back in the frame for Coventry.

Centre-back Martin arrived on loan from Southampton on Monday and could well be thrown straight in at Dean Court as the Sky Blues, in eighth, aim to slash the eight-point gap between themselves and the play-offs.

Martin's arrival comes with defender Richard Wood having missed Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Crewe with a groin injury which is again likely to keep him on the sidelines against the Cherries.

Fit-again central defender William Edjenguele came in for Wood against the Alex as the only change from the side who bowed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Meanwhile, McDonald was recalled by City caretaker boss Lee Carsley on Monday just a month into his loan stay at Gillingham having bagged four goals in seven appearances for the Kent club.

Carsley will also assess a couple of other unnamed players nursing minor knocks and niggles from the weekend.

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