BOSS Eddie Howe has hailed Ian Harte’s impact to Cherries’ set-piece strategy and described as “second to none” his dead-ball delivery.
Left-back Harte, drafted in to replace the injured Charlie Daniels, provided the assists for two of Cherries’ three goals in draws against Bolton and Burnley.
The Irishman’s corner was headed home by Simon Francis at the Reebok, while Harte also supplied the ammunition for Tokelo Rantie to give Cherries the lead against the Clarets.
Harte was handed his first taste of action for more than three months when he replaced Daniels during the early stages of Cherries’ 2-1 win over Huddersfield last month.
And the 36-year-old, who moved to Dean Court on a free transfer in the summer, showed his class and added to Cherries’ attacking threat against both Bolton and Burnley.
Harte is expected to keep his place when Cherries face in-form Derby at Pride Park tomorrow – the defender having netted five times against the Rams during his illustrious career.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “Ian has been fantastic this season, not just since he has come into the team but before that as well.
“He has been very patient behind Charlie and he never drops his standards. He has the same attitude every day whether he is in or out of the side.
“He is one of the best pros I have seen in how he conducts himself and prepares for training. He is still playing at 36 because of his attitude to the game and to his career.
"I am so full of admiration for him.”
Harte, who has scored 86 goals in his career, including efforts in the World Cup, Champions League and UEFA Cup, opened his Premier League account for Leeds during a 3-3 draw at Derby’s Baseball Ground in August 1996.
He has also netted twice at Pride Park – a 90th-minute penalty winner for Leeds in December 1999 and the opener during a 1-1 draw between the clubs in September 2000, both goals coming in the top flight.
Harte scored for Leeds against the Rams in a 4-1 win at Elland Road in March 1999 and for Reading in a 2-1 victory at the Madejski in May 2011.
Howe added: “It is no surprise to us that he has set up two goals in our past two games. His set-piece delivery is second to none and his left foot is a real weapon for us and something we can certainly use.
“If he is 25 to 30 yards from goal, more often than not, he will work the goalkeeper.
“He is an experienced guy with such a level head. He is certainly good for the younger players and a real role model for them to look up to.”