LEADING goalscorer Lewis Grabban has welcomed increased competition for places and knows boss Eddie Howe will take no prisoners with his selection.

Grabban has netted 12 times this season and been one of Cherries’ star performers as Howe’s men have started to establish themselves in the Championship.

His impressive form saw him go close to leaving the club last month after rivals Brighton had triggered a £1.1million release clause in his previous contract.

However, after having talks with the Seagulls, Grabban was persuaded to stay by Cherries and was rewarded with an improved three-and-a-half year deal.

Despite his exploits, Grabban is fully aware a drop in standards could cost him his place, with the arrival of Yann Kermorgant bolstering Howe’s options.

Grabban told the Daily Echo: “Competition is always good and I would have been one of the first people to say I thought we definitely needed another striker.

“Yann brings something different to the table. He is a physical lad but also has the ability to slot in to the way we play.

"It is always better to have better players in the squad because it improves the team and his signing is a positive for the club.

“Nobody is assured of a place and I don’t think it would ever be good to have that sort of guarantee.

"Players like to know they are playing but, if I don’t do well for the team, there is no reason why someone else shouldn’t come in.

“That goes for every player. Everybody knows they have to be on top of their game and I think the manager does well in that respect.”

Grabban is one of a number of players in the current squad to have played previously in the Championship, having made 10 appearances for former club Crystal Palace.

He scored his first and only goal in the second flight for the Eagles in a 3-2 win at West Brom in March 2007 after being named Academy scholar of the year at Selhurst Park in 2006.

Asked how he had adapted second time round, Grabban, who joined Cherries in a £300,000 move from Rotherham, said: “I think I have done okay. You can always do better and I think I should have had a few more goals.

"But, as long as I am still progressing, I am quite happy. There is always room for improvement and, hopefully, I can keep chugging away.

“You have to be more clinical in this division, especially against the better teams because the defenders are good and you might not get as many chances. You have to take them when they come along.

"The ability is better and more football is played than in League One.”

  • Cherries have rearranged their Championship fixture at Charlton Athletic for Tuesday, March 18.