BULLISH Harry Arter insists the return of Andrew Surman will provide Cherries with all the ammunition they need to win midfield battles in the Championship.

Surman is in contention to start against Rotherham United tomorrow (3pm) less than a fortnight after joining the Dean Court club from Norwich for a fee understood to be in the region of £500,000.

The Johannesburg-born man shone during his season-long loan with Cherries, particularly during their run of eight wins from 10 league matches between the start of March and mid-April.

And having seen plenty of Surman up close, Arter believes the 28-year-old has much to offer in a midfield area that has become crucial in the modern game.

Arter told the Daily Echo: “I think the squad is really going to benefit from bringing in Surs. As players, we all knew how important he was last year.

“It took a bit of time for him to get in the team but once he got a run of games, he showed how good he is. He’s a top player and one we’re fortunate to have.

“Last year when went to three in central midfield we really started to get noticed as a passing team. We went through a phase where we did really well and got a lot of plaudits for playing the right way.

“That has carried on this season. We went to Norwich and played them off the park with some really good stuff and Surs fits in with that mentality.

“The midfield is where games get controlled nowadays. There was an era where pace and power were the attributes that managers wanted but nowadays you see more players that understand the game tactically and have technical ability.”

Surman is renowned as an intelligent passer of the ball and Arter feels that keeping possession will be key to any success Cherries have in the Championship this season.

The former Woking man, who has featured in six of Cherries’ seven games so far, continued: “You can’t lose a game by keeping possession. You might not have as many chances but it’s down to players to take chances when they come.

“Our goal against Norwich epitomised that. If we had lost the ball after 28 passes some supporters would have said we were not moving the ball quickly enough or not getting the ball up the pitch.

“But it’s important for people to realise that sometimes we have to play a slower game in order to open up certain areas.

“I hope they stick by the team when we’re starting to play football and don’t see it as a negative tactic.”