MIDFIELDER Harry Arter revealed Eddie Howe’s help in shrugging off the shackles of his yellow card peril had brought out his Cherries best.
The 23-year-old hailed his manager’s influence as the catalyst behind a fine run of form which has seen the playmaker impose his natural style on Cherries’ Championship opponents in recent weeks.
Arter, who has picked up eight bookings in 24 league starts this season, admitted his past reputation for going in the referee’s notebook had stifled his game during the early part of the campaign.
But after a frank talk with his boss, the former Woking man feels he has started to unleash his best attributes and insisted there was plenty more to come.
Discussing his form, Arter told the Daily Echo: “I spoke to the manager about five or six weeks ago and we analysed what we felt I could do better. I have felt a lot better since.
“He is quite good at spotting when I am acting differently and picking up on when I am not happy with my game. I felt I was playing below the level I am capable of and my personal form was down to tailoring my game a little bit to avoid bookings.
“Sometimes, I would not go in for tackles quite as much as I had in the past but looking back now it was probably the wrong way to go. He told me to just forget about all that and go back to my old ways and since I have I feel like I have got the rewards from it.
“Pressing people and playing with a high intensity is a big part of my game. You will always give away a foul here or there but I am at my best when I am on the edge.
“I have been criticised in the past for the number of bookings I have received but I have the support of the manager and that has been the most important thing for me.
“Now I have focused on what I am best at, I have showed I can cope against the better players and I would rather pick up the odd booking than play within myself.”
And Arter, who played a starring role in a strong showing at promotion-chasing Derby, reckons he is well placed to push his performances even further.
He added: “At the moment, I feel like I have the right balance to prepare for games with the right mentality to achieve the consistency I am after.
"It is what I expect of myself every single week. I wouldn’t say I am playing exceptionally above myself, I would say it was more down to playing below myself in the past.
“It was more a case of tweaking things here and there. Now, I feel more than comfortable at this level and long may that continue.”