HEAD coach Scott Parker admitted Cherries were “lucky” to have Philip Billing in their high-flying squad at present – as he looks to take the midfielder to another level.

The dynamic Dane did the business again after netting what proved to be the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Sheffield United.

Billing swept home three minutes after Dominic Solanke had made it 1-1 from the penalty spot against the Blades.

With six goals in 11 games this season, Billing has become an integral member of Parker’s side, who currently sit top of the Championship going into this month’s international break.

Asked whether he was surprised the Copenhagen-born star was still at the club, following reported interest from Norwich in the summer, Parker replied: “I’m not surprised. There was talk around Phil earlier on in the season.

“He made a decision to stay here, stay with us, improve and get better. We’re lucky to have him, like we’re lucky to have a lot of the players here.

“My main thing from Phil is I just see someone who is really engaged, someone who wants to get better and improve his game. So, I’m just very pleased with that.”

Billing first signed for Cherries under Eddie Howe in the summer of 2019, in a £15million deal from Huddersfield Town.

He has since gone on to also feature under Jason Tindall and Jonathan Woodgate, before teaming up with Parker following the head coach’s arrival this summer.

Asked whether there were any comparisons between Billing and Scott Parker the player, the former England midfielder said: “Not really. I think he’s better technically than me at times! He’s certainly got a better shot than me as well!

“I think I had something as a player that Phil could do with to be quite honest with you.

“I want to try and give him that bit of me that could take him to the other level. I want to try and improve him. Along with a lot of the other players as well.

“The biggest thing that made me happy on Saturday was not his goal, it was the bit where he runs back and makes a slide tackle on the edge of the box.

“I know he can score the goal, I know he’s got quality in those moments. I know the little bit, when at 0-0 he plays that little, tight intricate play with JZ (Jordan Zemura) and we cut back to Dom, I know that.

“What’s an all-round midfielder is someone who can do every facet. At this moment in time he’s showing me, I need to reiterate he still needs to improve more.

“There’s still areas where he needs to get better. But he’s showing me at certain moments that he’s becoming involved in the game at every moment - at 0-0, 1-0 down he’s taking on big moments.

“He’s coming to the fore in big moments and that’s what he needs to keep doing.”