BENIK Afobe revealed a heart to heart with boss Eddie Howe had got him back on track after admitting he had “lost my head” earlier this season.
Afobe played a key role in Cherries’ 2-0 win over Swansea, his first-half shot deflecting off Alfie Mawson for an own goal before he doubled the lead in the second half.
The 24-year-old striker’s exploits helped Cherries climb nine points clear of the relegation zone as they registered their first Premier League double.
A then-club record £9million signing from Wolves in January 2016, Afobe has experienced a mixed bag since making an explosive start to his Cherries career.
He netted four goals in his first eight games to help preserve their top-flight status last season but has been used sparingly during the past 12 months.
Afobe said: “It has been tough for me. I started well and then got a hamstring injury when I went away in March last season.
“I didn’t come back the same player and wrote off the rest of the season before working hard in pre-season.
“I picked up a knee injury during the training camp in Chicago that people didn’t know about which set me back.
“I started the season on the bench and tried to get myself back in the team but the boys were doing well at the time so I couldn’t really complain.
“I lost my head a bit and didn’t train as hard as I could have. I had a heart-to-heart meeting with the manager and, ever since then, I have been working my way back.
“I have worked hard and had a couple of chances. I think it all turned for me when I came on in the 4-3 win against Liverpool.
“I have been trying to get my goalscoring touch back and, hopefully, I have found it again with nine games to go.”
Afobe, who has started three successive games for the first time in a year, admitted he had struggled to come to terms with being out of the team.
“It affected me in that I was quiet around the house and I am quite a bubbly person,” he added.
“When it gets like that, you know things are going wrong. I sat down with people here and they told me to keep going.
“My chat with the manager was important because it showed he cared. He could have just left me to one side and said he didn’t want me in and around the changing room.
“But I have always been a team player and never in my career have I knocked on a manager’s door to ask why I am not playing.
“It just shows that if you keep working hard, you will get your chances and, when you get them, you have to take them.
“This is the first time this season I have started three games in a row and I just want it to continue.
“Whoever starts, we all want to keep this club in the Premier League and we all want to finish higher than last season.”