NEW Cherries loan signing Martin Cranie completed the formalities on his short move along the south coast and prepared himself for his baptism of League One football.

The versatile Southampton defender has signed for Sean O'Driscoll's side on a one-month loan and has gone straight into the squad for today's clash with Barnsley at Dean Court after training with his new team-mates at Canford yesterday.

The 18-year-old, who has been allocated the number 22 shirt, told the Daily Echo: "Steve Wigley told me on Thursday morning that Bournemouth were interested and asked if I fancied going for a month and I thought it would be good experience for me.

"We have a lot of defenders at Southampton at the moment so I thought it would be a good move for me to play some first-team football and for a side that are really going well at the moment."

Cranie, the England under-19 captain, has also represented the under-20 side and is comfortable playing anywhere across the defence.

While he admits his preferred spot is right-back, he is experienced at left-back and ready to step into the void left by the injured Warren Cummings.

He said: "My favourite position is probably right-back because I am right footed but I am happy to play in the middle or at left-back. My left foot is pretty decent as well so it is no big problem for me.

"I've been playing left-back regularly for the reserves this season and I've been told about Warren's injury - I am more than happy to play there or wherever I am needed."

The Yeovil-born defender has started one Premiership game for Saints at Chelsea last season but featured in several pre-season games this term and one substitute appearance in the Carling Cup win at Northampton.

He said: "My Premiership debut at Chelsea was a good experience - even though I scored an own goal! I was asked to play left wing-back, which I had never played before, but being out on the pitch with some of those players was unbelievable."

He added: "I am here for a month at the moment and we will see how it goes. Depending on what happens, it might become longer - I don't know yet."

"I enjoyed my first training session and the players all spoke to me - it was a good laugh and you can tell the team are doing well at the moment.

"I've been given a little report on how Barnsley play so I've had a read of that and I'm really looking forward to it."