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Cherries: 'Combative' Arter has matured says Howe
CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe has resisted the temptation to condemn Harry Arter for his poor disciplinary record – but has urged the midfielder to tread carefully in future.
Key player Arter will miss Cherries’ next two matches after collecting his 10th caution of the campaign against Coventry City on Tuesday night.
The Londoner, who has made 33 appearances this term, is set to sit out his third and fourth matches of the season through suspension after being hit with 10 yellow cards and one red.
Arter, who has often come under fire from supporters for his scrapes with referees, missed no fewer than six games due to bans last season after collecting three separate suspensions for totting up 15 bookings.
But Howe, speaking from his experience since taking charge, feels Arter has matured and insists yellow cards can be an occupational hazard.
The Cherries manager told the Daily Echo: “Harry goes through a lot of work in midfield. He is a combative player, he tackles, he wins back the ball for us and I think his regain statistics are excellent.
“With that type of aggressive play off the ball, sometimes you are going to get your timing wrong and, sometimes, you are going to pick up bookings for fouls.
“The bookings that would disappoint me would be dissent but wholehearted and committed players who pick up yellow cards through mistiming of tackles, I don’t think can be, in any way, criticised. I think that is part of the game.”
In previous seasons, Arter has been criticised for showing dissent towards referees’ decisions.
Howe said: “I can only go by what I have seen this season and I have been pleased with his response. I think he has matured and he is more responsible now.
“But it is something Harry is going to have to continue to monitor and manage because we want him fit and available for as many games as possible.”
Eunan O’Kane started alongside Arter in central midfield against Coventry, with Shaun MacDonald and Richard Hughes in contention to feature at Leyton Orient tomorrow (3pm).
Howe added: “Before his injury, Shaun MacDonald was outstanding for us. Richard Hughes, whenever he has played, has also been excellent.
“It is a disappointment for Harry being suspended but an opportunity for someone else.”