EDDIE Howe revealed he had been “delighted” by the response from left-out keeper Asmir Begovic and insisted he had been “excellent” in training.

The Bosnian shot stopper has been omitted from Cherries’ past three top-flight encounters against West Ham, Chelsea and Cardiff.

Artur Boruc has stepped back between the sticks for the Dorset club and conceded just twice since reclaiming the number one spot.

But Howe insisted Begovic had shown a good attitude after being replaced and the boss had been pleased to see intense competition for a starting berth.

He said: “Asmir has responded very well in training. He has been excellent.

“That is all you ask for, you ask for players in every position to really push each other.

“Competition for places is really at the bedrock of all successful teams, so I am delighted with the response.”

Begovic had been ever-present for 60 Premier League games for Cherries since his £10million arrival from Chelsea in the summer of 2017.

In that time, he had conceded 103 goals and kept 11 clean sheets.

Only Cardiff stopper Neil Etheridge has conceded more goals than Begovic in the top flight this season.