DETERMINED Darryl Flahavan insists he is “definitely up for the challenge” as he bids to fight for his Cherries place and earn a new Dean Court contract.
The experienced goalkeeper, who has been plagued by injuries this season, has made just one Championship appearance during the current campaign.
Flahavan, 35, impressed as a substitute for the red-carded Ryan Allsop at Leeds but sustained a thigh problem when he looked set for a run in Eddie Howe’s team.
Boss Howe recently tasked his back-up stoppers, headed by Allsop and Flahavan, to keep the pressure on first-choice keeper Lee Camp.
And although Flahavan hailed the performances of Camp since his arrival at the club, he said he was desperate to battle for the position as he attempted to win a new deal with Cherries.
Former Southend star Flahavan, whose current contract expires in June, told the Daily Echo: “First and foremost, I need to get myself fit, which won’t be too far down the line. I will try to work hard to try to convince the manager for another contract.
“You never know what can happen in football. You have one eye on that (contract situation) but my main focus is to get myself back in training and to a level I know I can get myself to.”
Asked about the quest for first-team football, Flahavan said: “First of all, I think Campy has been great since he came in. I have really enjoyed working with him and we have got on really well.
“There is a great environment with the goalkeepers. I think we have been lucky that the goalkeepers who have come in have all been good lads and really good to work with.
“Secondly, I am definitely up for the challenge. I will get myself sharp and fit and I will try my best, like I always have done.”
Flahavan, who has played more than 400 games during a distinguished career, has made 49 appearances since joining Cherries in summer 2011. But he has endured a tough time with injuries during his spell at Dean Court.
“The timing of all the injuries has been horrendous,” added Flahavan. “Especially after the Leeds game, I felt good and I was hoping to get a run but my thigh put me out.
“I got myself back into training and, a month or so ago, I injured my thumb. This one has been hard to take. It got me down to start with but I am trying to be as positive as I can. I have recovered as quickly as I possibly could.
“That is the way I have to look at it and, hopefully in the next few weeks, I can join in with the lads, get some training and get some sharpness under my belt.”