HEAD coach Scott Parker lifted the lid on the decision made to sell Sam Surridge to Stoke City and admitted he could not guarantee him regular game time at Cherries.

Surridge came through the ranks at Vitality Stadium having first joined the club as a nine-year-old, then re-signing at under-15 level.

But having turned 23 last month, the striker ended his lengthy affiliation with the club to link up with the Potters in a deal worth around £5.5million.

Surridge had been battling Dominic Solanke to lead the line at Cherries this season but Parker admitted he could not guarantee the Ferndown-raised youngster regular minutes.

Asked about the striker’s exit, the boss told the Daily Echo: “I had some brief conversations with Sam in my short time.

“He was struggling a little bit with a slight knock and he was managing that a little bit.

“But I explained that maybe this year, or certainly at this present moment of time, if game time and minutes on the pitch was the be all and end all, I couldn’t guarantee him that.

“Hence why he has made the decision and I think we probably see it as a good decision that he does go and play football, get some minutes.

“It’s something probably he has not done over the course of his short career regularly. Hopefully he can manage to do that now at Stoke – hence why he’s left.”

Surridge spent time on loan at the likes of Weymouth, Poole Town, Yeovil, Oldham and Swansea before playing 35 times in all competitions for Cherries last season.

He did however start just seven league games for the Dorset club throughout the campaign.

Speaking about his move to the Potteries, Surridge told Stoke-on-Trent Live: “I’m obviously really happy.

“It’s been a long time coming, it’s been going on for a couple of months now and I just wanted to get it done as soon as I heard the interest.

“Having spoken to the manager here, his plans for Stoke suit me.

“It was important for me this season – and I wanted to do it last season – to go out and prove that I can be a 20-goal a season striker. I think I’ve had spells in my career when I’ve scored goals but so far it’s been in spells.

“To come here and have that pressure and the manager wanting me to come and prove it is a big thing. I’m a confident lad and I know I can.

“I just want to score goals really. That’s the main thing. You get judged on that as a striker and if I come here and score goals, everyone is going to be happy and it’ll help the team.

“I’ll always work 100 per cent for the team as well. I won’t stop.”

Surridge could make his first appearance for Michael O’Neill’s side when they host Reading in the Championship tomorrow (3pm).

He said: “I wanted to get here before the season started. I thought it would be earlier than it has been but getting in now is important, I can train with the team and get ready for Saturday.

“Without putting too much pressure on myself, any striker wants to come here and score.

“It would be special for me but I’m going to take my time, take everything in my stride and hopefully I will get some goals. I’m going to be working as hard as I can to do that."