EDDIE Howe is tipping Tyrone Mings to “go a long way in the game" – if the Cherries defender maintains his voracious appetite to improve.

A serious knee injury, suffered soon after signing for the club from Ipswich, consigned Mings to a 19-month wait for his first proper taste of Premier League football.

And the 23-year-old’s baptism into top-flight life has coincided with Cherries enduring their toughest period of the campaign.

Howe admitted he would have preferred to introduce Mings into the fray with his team in a rich vein of form – but the Cherries boss has nevertheless seen plenty to admire in his £8million man.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “From Tyrone’s perspective, that (the opportunity to come into a thriving Cherries team) would have been the wish. But it is what it is.

“He’s come in and the team has suffered a difficult spell.

“I think Tyrone has improved with every game. That’s no surprise to me, given the length of time he’s been out and his change of position (from left-back to centre-back).”

Mings’ full Premier League debut came in last month’s defeat at Hull. He subsequently featured in the 2-2 draw with Watford, and was then in the side beaten 6-3 at Everton last week.

“I’ve been impressed by how he’s dealt with difficult situations… his mentality,” added Howe.

“He has come back on a Monday morning ready to learn and grow again.

"As long as he maintains that attitude, I think he’ll go a long way in the game.”