Bournemouth's Max Gradel celebrates after scoring against Swansea
Friday Aug 04, 2017. 17:00
AFC Bournemouth midfielder Marc Pugh has been pleased with Max Gradel's pre-season form.
The Ivory Coast international has recovered from a severe knee injury he sustained in August 2015 and he has been part of the club's pre-season preparations.
Pugh praised the 29-year-old winger's character as they prepare for the 2017/18 campaign which will start next weekend with Bournemouth facing West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
"You never want any of your team-mates to go. It adds competition. You get injuries and you get suspensions and you need those people around,” Pugh told Daily Echo.
"Max has had a good pre-season and we want to be as successful as we can. To have competition in all areas of the pitch is important and if we want to finish in the top half of the table, we have to hold on to our players.
"I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, I just crack on with my job and the rest of the lads do the same, and what will be, will be," the English midfielder continued.
"He's a great character. He's had a tough time in the past few years with injury and then he had a long spell without playing as he got his match fitness back up.
"It's testament to his character – he wants to work hard day in, day out – and it's important for him to play football. He wants to be out on the field," he added.
"I don't know what's going to happen but his attitude has been spot on in pre-season."