THE Black Country holds both good and bad memories for Andrew Surman.

Cherries midfielder Surman experienced fluctuating fortunes during spells with Walsall and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

On his return to the West Midlands with Cherries tomorrow, Surman will be hoping to celebrate a landmark appearance with a day to remember.

Should he keep his place in Eddie Howe’s starting line-up, the 32-year-old will play his 400th league game against his former club at Molineux.

At 18, Surman capped his first full appearance as a professional by scoring the only goal for Walsall in a 1-0 win against Bristol City in February 2005.

He had been sent out on loan to the League One Saddlers by then Southampton manager Harry Redknapp to gain some valuable experience.

The following season, Surman, playing alongside the likes of Howe, Steve Fletcher and Neil Moss, made 39 appearances during a loan spell with Cherries before being handed his Southampton debut in a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the Championship in January 2006.

A first-team regular at St Mary’s for three successive seasons, Surman joined Wolves for £1.2million following Southampton’s relegation to League One in 2009.

However, despite Mick McCarthy shelling out big money on the then 22-year-old, Surman was restricted to just seven appearances in the Premier League, including starts in defeats by Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. He left Molineux after just 12 months.

Asked by the Daily Echo for his recollections of his stay at Wolves, Surman said: “It was frustrating.

“I went there off the back of relegation with Southampton and to go straight into the Premier League was exciting.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t quite happen for me. I played against some of the top teams and we didn’t get great results.

“It was a tough year in my career. It is a great club and everyone was very welcoming – it just didn’t quite work out for me.”

Surman signed permanently for Cherries in 2016 following another loan spell at the club, having previously helped Norwich win the Championship in 2011.

Looking back on his full debut for Paul Merson’s Walsall, Surman said: “You always hope for the best but you never know how your career is going to pan out. I was only 18 at the time and it seems like a long time ago now!

“I am really proud of the number of games I have played and I have had a few injuries during that time as well.

“It doesn’t matter where you are when you make it and to play 400 league games will be a massive achievement for me and something to be proud of. Hopefully, there will be many more to come.

“As you get older, you need to adapt. You possibly lose certain things and you have to be mentally strong to stay at the top.

“You can bring experience though. The Premier League is getting faster and stronger all the time so I know I need to continue to adapt to keep pace with it.”

Discussing Wolves’s season so far, Surman said: “They have started really well. They had a little blip but have bounced back with two great results against Chelsea and Newcastle.

“It is going to be a tough game for us and our mentality has to be right. We want to win and want to try to keep as close to the top six as we can. We need to be at our best to get something.

He added: “Molineux is a great venue to play at and the atmosphere is electric. Unfortunately, I didn’t play too many games when I was there but it is a great arena.

“Their fans are very passionate fans and will be right behind them, especially after their past two results.

“We have to try to manage that because it is part and parcel of playing in the Premier League. If we could do that, it would hopefully go towards getting something.”