STRIKER Callum Wilson issued a warning to Premier League defenders: "I'm quicker than I was before."

The former Coventry City hitman featured for 66 minutes during Cherries’ 3-2 Premier League Cup victory over Norwich City on Wednesday, ending an eight-month spell on the sidelines in the process.

Wilson was rocked when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a training session in February, that setback coming 16 months after the frontman had sustained the same injury to his right knee.

But with a return to match action now secured, the 25-year-old is confident his most recent recovery will help him come back better than ever.

Wilson told the Daily Echo: “I feel stronger, more confident in myself and my body and I have sorted both knees out.

“I think you have to have confidence because, otherwise, fear is going to paralyse you. You are never going to play well if you are scared of getting the injury again.

“After the first knee injury, I didn’t really know how to come back from it and didn’t know the time frames. I rushed my rehab, took six and a half months to get back and didn’t give my body the time it needed.

“This time, I took a step back from focusing on when I was going to return. It was more about putting the effort and time into building myself up stronger again and I have done that.

“Currently, I am beating all my sprint scores and am quicker than I was before, so that’s a good sign.

“I feel I have had my fair share of time injured. It’s positive now and I’m looking forward to an injury-free career.”

Wilson had a goal chalked off for offside during the win over the Canaries, while he also had other presentable opportunities to find the net.

But he warned defenders he was saving his goals primarily for the top flight.

“As a striker, I think the main thing is getting into goalscoring positions,” he said.

“Just being there shows you are getting opportunities and that is a good sign for me. I am saving the goals for the Premier League!”

Cherries' next outing comes when they face Tottenham at Wembley Stadium a week on Saturday.

Asked whether it was in his mind to make a top-flight return in that fixture, Wilson replied: “In my mind, as a player, yes.

“I was going to judge myself on how I played on Wednesday, so if I was rusty or felt I was a bit off it, I would give myself a bit longer. But my goal was to play well and I feel I did that.

“I want to be training well like I have been and, hopefully, I will start to get in the fold.

“I'm not looking for a start straight away but I feel I could be on the bench and come on to make an impact, definitely.”