REVITALISED Cherries star Danny Hollands hopes to keep reaping the benefits after taking "a long, hard look" at himself over the summer.

Midfielder Hollands has turned in two impressive league displays after his return to the fold was delayed due to a pre-season hamstring injury.

The 21-year-old looked assured against Northampton and starred as Cherries dominated the first half of their ill-deserved 4-1 defeat at Swindon on Saturday.

Hollands, who also grabbed his first goal of the season at the County Ground, admits he is desperate to make up for lost time following an indifferent debut season at Dean Court.

The former Chelsea youth and reserve team skipper, who arrived on a free transfer from Stamford Bridge 14 months ago, told the Daily Echo: "I knew I had to knuckle down.

"I always felt I was good enough to play, but knew I had to start preparing myself better. I'm working much harder now and am a lot more conscientious.

"I've been in the gym a lot more and am working hard to get myself fitter. I'm concentrating more, eating properly and thinking about my profession 24/7.

"Our day-to-day training is hard, but if I put in a bit extra, I know it will help in the long run. It might be a mental thing as well but I'm determined to give myself every chance."

Hollands made 38 appearances last season - including 20 from the bench - but was restricted to just 12 league starts under boss Kevin Bond.

And having seized his chance with both hands this season, the industrious and cultured playmaker is not about to give up his place without a fight.

"I've just tried to work as hard as I can in the two games," said Hollands. "I've tried to make good use of the ball when I've had it and work hard to get it back when I haven't.

"Northampton were a long-ball side so it was a case of trying to win your second balls, win your tackles and work on the ugly side of the game. We did that as a team and were disappointed not to win because we thoroughly deserved the three points.

"Against Swindon, we were the better side in the first half. Their second goal killed us and then we started going too direct when we should have kept trying to pass it."

Hollands, who is still to taste victory in any of his 16 league starts, is convinced that Cherries can climb the table.

"That's a horrible stat and not something I want hanging over me," he said. "We know we're as good as a lot of teams in this league and we're not frightened of anybody.

"We were the best team over 90 minutes against Northampton and much the better team for the first half against Swindon. It would be different if we weren't creating chances or we were getting played off the park, but we're not.

"We had a long meeting after Saturday's game and know it's going to take a team effort to put things right. Hopefully we can start this week against Carlisle."