BOSS Eddie Howe heaped praise on key frontman Joshua King and insisted: “He is a pivotal figure to how we play.”

The Norwegian star took to 11 his Premier League goal tally for the campaign with a double in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle – bringing him level with strike partner Callum Wilson in the top flight this season.

King, 27, also became Norway’s second-highest all-time Premier League scorer with 41 after the impressive brace – he is ahead of likes of Steffen Iversen, John Carew and Tore Andre Flo.

Only fellow countryman Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has netted more times than the Oslo-born forward.

With six goals in his past nine league fixtures, Howe insisted King, who he signed from Blackburn in 2015, added another dimension to Cherries’ dynamic frontline.

The boss told the Daily Echo: “He is massive. I think Josh has been hugely impressive in the past few weeks and with Callum’s (recent) absence.

“You were always going to miss a player of Callum’s quality but Josh really stepped up. His overall performances have been very good.

“He is a pivotal figure to how we play and what we want to do. He has the pace, strength and technical qualities, which are quite unique.

“I find him great to work with. I love that level-headedness and the desire to improve that he has shown.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with him from day one and he’s improved a lot. It’s been great to be part of that process.”

Cherries’ formidable quartet of King, Wilson, Ryan Fraser and David Brooks have scored 36 goals and registered 26 assists between them in all competitions this campaign.

Asked whether he felt blessed by his team’s attacking prowess, the Cherries boss replied: "Absolutely. As a manager you are only as good as your players and I feel very blessed we have very good players in the frontline.”

He added: “You look at attributes of individual players and try to find ways where that can benefit the team.

“You just try to build layers, try to improve individual players and then improve them within the team.

“That process has been really exciting for me. When you have the mix of technical ability, physicality, pace and goalscoring instincts, they are very good players.

“You shouldn’t forget the players behind them as well – the other players who are competing for their shirts all adds to the mix.

“And not just in the frontline, you go back through the whole team and we have quality. We just have not had everyone fit enough to show the strength of our squad at times this season and that has been a huge frustration."