King defends Norway selection


Joshua King has defended the decision to play for Norway against Malta despite picking up an injury in a proverbial dead-rubber.  

The Bournemouth forward started both games for his country in the current international break – a 4-0 victory over Faroe Islands followed by the group finale away to Malta, in which he scored the opening goal of a 2-1 triumph.

Norway’s fate had already been sealed before they took on the Falcons, with no chance of securing automatic qualification and a place in the play-offs guaranteed.

Therefore it is understandable that Cherries chiefs are reportedly unhappy he played virtually the entire match before limping off with a leg injury in the 89th minute.

A report by TV2 claims Eddie Howe’s side feel it was unnecessary for Norway coach Lars Lagerback to play King at all – let alone for 89 minutes, with the striker now set for a spell on the sidelines.

However, King was quick to back his manager’s decision, while admitting he might have had the night off.

“We didn’t play too much today other than for FIFA ranking but it wasn’t Lars’ mistake,” said the 27-year-old  “It was not very fast-paced and it was not very tiring to play.

“However, sometimes you might want to think about it when you’ve played every single game for club and country.”

The extent of King’s injury will only be determined when he returns to the south coast for a scan but the former Blackburn Rovers ace suggested he might be out for “two weeks” when quizzed by reporters.

That would mean missing a home Premier League game with Wolves and the trip to north London to face Tottenham.

The injury has come at a tough time for Bournemouth as they travel to Crystal Palace following the Spurs game before the ultimate test when Jurgen Klopp brings his table-topping Liverpool side to the Vitality Stadium on December 7.