BOSS Eddie Howe insisted creative link Junior Stanislas was “massive” for his squad – and revealed Cherries had adapted his training routine to get him ready for top-flight contests.

Winger Stanislas opened scoring in Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Manchester United.

The former West Ham youngster nutmegged £80million centre-half Harry Maguire before beating Spanish stopper David de Gea at his near post.

It was Stanislas’s first goal of the 2019-20 campaign, in which he has made just 11 appearances in all competitions due to injury.

The 30-year-old has featured in Cherries’ past eight Premier League contests however, and Howe admitted it was huge to keep the former Burnley star fit.

He told the Daily Echo: “Junior is a massive player for us.

“Our challenge has always been with Junior in recent seasons – getting the number of games out of him that his quality deserves.

“We have adapted his training, adapted certain things with how he prepares to try to make him available for more games.

“Hopefully, that shows in the coming weeks and months.

“He showed with his goal, he has that moment that can swing a game.”

Stanislas’s strike proved not enough as the Dorset club slumped to their seventh defeat in eight league contests and remained in the bottom three.

Giving his take on the opening goal, Stanislas said: “It was quite early on in the game so it was a good start, but when you score early here it could be a long afternoon.

"We had to defend a lot and we probably didn't do that well enough.

"If you concede five goals anywhere in the country, it's always going to be difficult.

"It was a great start for us but unfortunately we were unable to keep it up.

“We probably went a little bit direct. We didn't pass the ball as well as we know we could have, gave the ball back to them on a lot of occasions.

"When they have the players that they have, you're always going to get punished for it and we did."

Asked whether there had been positives to take from the contest, Stanislas added: "It's hard to take positives, really.

"But I think since we've come back from the break, it's probably one of the only games we've kind of looked a threat going forwards.

"I guess you could take that as a positive but mix that with the team's defending and it's difficult to take positives, really."