BOSS Eddie Howe praised Harry Arter for his “bravery” after the midfielder had overcome the odds to play a starring role in Cherries’ 2-2 draw at Bolton on Saturday.
Arter’s indefatigable display at the Reebok Stadium came after his inclusion had been thrown into doubt when he turned his ankle during the warm-up.
And after coming through an impromptu fitness test under the watchful eye of Cherries physio Steve Hard, he then required treatment when he took a kick to his leg inside the opening 10 minutes.
Arter was again in the wars in the lead up to Cherries’ first goal when he was left in a heap following a heavy collision with team-mate Eunan O’Kane and Bolton's Liam Trotter.
But although stretcher bearers had been called to carry him off, Arter again responded to treatment and proceeded to pull the strings in midfield as Cherries turned on the style.
“I thought he showed real bravery,” said Cherries boss Howe. “He is a combative player and always puts his body on the line. I thought he was terrific and it was one of his best games of the season.
“Harry, together with Eunan and Andrew Surman, dominated the midfield battle and played well against three very good opponents.
“Everybody could take great heart from their performance because we outplayed Bolton on their own patch. I was really pleased with the character shown. When you are 2-0 down and away from home at somewhere like Bolton, questions will be asked about how you are going to respond.
“We responded in fine fashion. The players did not let the scoreline affect them negatively and did not let their heads drop. They showed some real quality after the first 20 minutes and dominated the rest of the game.
“We started okay but conceded two disappointing goals. We switched off from a second-phase set-piece for the first one, which was unlike us, and the second one was just a long punt down the pitch, which we didn’t deal with. The overall feeling was one of frustration because I thought we should have won.”