BOSS Eddie Howe has spoken of his “difficult dilemma” after leaving behind Saints loanee Lee Barnard for Cherries’ League One clash at Scunthorpe last weekend.

Barnard, pictured, who signed from Saints on the eve of the start of the season, did not travel with the rest of the squad for the trip to north Lincolnshire.

Brett Pitman and Lewis Grabban started up front for Cherries in the 2-1 win at Glanford Park, while strikers Josh McQuoid, Matt Tubbs, Frank Demouge and Steve Fletcher were among the substitutes.

Pitman’s signing – initially on loan from Bristol City but with a view to a permanent move in January – coupled with Demouge’s return to fitness has bolstered significantly Cherries’ striking options.

Howe said: “We have real competition for places in the striking department but Lee is still very much part of our squad.

“The difficulty we have is that he is a loan player and we have contracted players.

“That is the dilemma and it is a really difficult one.

“I can only speak very highly of Lee’s attitude and commitment to the cause since he has been here and we will re-assess his position in January.”