EDDIE Howe revealed he had every confidence Joshua King would start to realise his potential with Cherries – from the day he first worked with him.
King, snapped up by Howe for a bargain £1million from Blackburn, has taken the Premier League by storm during the second half of the club’s historic campaign.
The frontman has plundered 18 goals this season, including two for Norway and 16 for Cherries in the top flight – and no fewer than 13 since the turn of the year.
King has netted more times for Cherries in the past two-and-a-half months than he did during his entire two-and-a-half year stay at Blackburn.
However, the 25-year-old has not always had things his own way and had to bide his time after experiencing mixed fortunes at the start of his Cherries career.
Utilised in a more withdrawn role, King was either subbed or came off the bench in each of his first 11 games in the Premier League last season. His first 90-minute appearance came in the 3-3 draw with Everton at Vitality Stadium at the end of November.
King, who was rewarded for a strong finish to last season with an improved four-year contract, has said he sees his immediate future with Cherries, despite interest from a host of clubs.
Boss Howe said: “His attitude from day one when we first worked with him was excellent. We really believed then that he had the potential to be anything.
“Everything was there, it was just a case of putting it all together and showing it.
“Josh has gone into games believing he is going to score. Believing is totally different to hoping and he has got the rewards from that.
“Whenever you sign a player, no matter what the transfer fee, there is a risk.
“You never quite know how your relationship is going to develop, how they are going to take to you, how you are going to take to them or whether they going to fit your philosophy.
“There is always a risk but I have to say with Josh, even when he was adapting early on in his time with us, he always showed the attitude that he wanted to learn and improve.
“I have enjoyed every minute of working with him, exploring his game and trying to work out different ways to improve him.
“We really do go into depth with our players but it is a two-way process. You can only do it if the player wants it and that is why he has been so good.”
Asked if he felt there was more to come from King, Howe replied: “I believe that with all my players whether I have worked with them for a year or eight years.
“I believe you can improve every day. There are things every player needs to do to get the very best out of themselves and we will continue to do that with everybody.”