HAVING had a taste of the high life, Dan Gosling now wants to show he has the stomach for a fight.

Gosling’s first six starts in the Premier League for Cherries this season have all come against teams currently in the top nine.

His seventh against fellow strugglers West Ham on Boxing Day saw him contribute an excellent performance and a crucial first-half goal in a pulsating 3-3 draw.

It was the first point Cherries had gained with Gosling in the starting line-up since the 1-1 draw at Leicester on the final day of last season.

That statistic, however, is no reflection on Gosling’s ability and is simply down to the standard of opposition he has been asked to do battle with.

The 27-year-old has twice locked horns with the might of runaway leaders Manchester City and also started in defeats at Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham and Manchester United.

He has also played his part from the substitutes’ bench as Cherries collected seven valuable points from wins over Brighton and Huddersfield, together with a 0-0 draw at Swansea.

Asked by the Daily Echo to explain his reasoning for starting Gosling against the top teams, boss Eddie Howe said: “I trust him.

“He is very good out of possession and an excellent midfielder in terms of breaking up play, being disciplined in his position and delivering what I ask him to do.

“He is also a model pro. He always trains superbly and his attitude is great.”

A free transfer from Newcastle in 2014, Gosling was restricted to one league start – in a 1-1 draw at Norwich – and 17 substitute appearances as Cherries won promotion in his first season.

In the past two years in the top flight, he has featured in all but 15 games – starting 42, coming off the bench in 19 and scoring in five.

He also carved his name in club history when his goal at Chelsea in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup last week saw him become Cherries’ most prolific marksman in the competition.

Gosling told the Daily Echo: “It is good to get a run of games. I have been working hard behind the scenes and nobody sees the training you do when you are not playing.

“I am always one to give everything every day and that stands me in good stead when I get a chance.

“I would like to think I have taken my opportunity when I have been given the shirt and, hopefully, I can keep playing well and the team can keep picking up points.

“It gives me great confidence when the manager says he trusts me. When you play against the top teams, you know you are there for a reason and to do a job.

“It is not easy coming into games when you haven’t played regularly. Going to places like Old Trafford and the Etihad, they are top teams with top players.

“You have to give everything and that is what I do. I give 100 per cent on the pitch, whether we win, lose or draw and that is all a player can give.”

Gosling will be hoping to keep his place when Cherries face his former club Everton at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, the Toffees having been revived following Sam Allardyce’s appointment as manager (3pm).

“They had a poor start and we should have turned them over when we went to Goodison in September,” said Gosling. “But a couple of little mistakes and it was bang, bang, two goals and we lost.

“Sam has set them up now and they are very strong defensively and don’t concede many goals. They are solid and it is going to be tough to break them down.

“But if we can show the same attacking play as we did against West Ham then, hopefully, we can create chances and nick some goals.”