BOSS Scott Parker admitted loanee Leif Davis’s time at Cherries had been “tough” thus far but insisted: “We signed him because he’s a very good player.”

The 21-year-old left-back agreed a season-long switch to Vitality Stadium from Leeds United, with the option for Cherries to make the move permanent.

But Davis has not featured in the Dorset club’s past six Championship squads, partly due to injury, as well as the form of full-back Jordan Zemura.

The only time Davis has played 90 minutes for the Dorset club came in the 6-0 Carabao Cup second round shellacking at the hands of Norwich back in August.

Asked about Newcastle-born youngster Davis, Parker told the Daily Echo: “It’s tough for Leif at the moment. It’s been a little bit stop-start.

“He came to us injured and we then obviously built him back up.

“We played him a couple of games and then he came out of training, he picked up a bit of a knee injury that kept him out for three or four days.

“I think there’s no hiding behind the truth. The truth is, at the moment, there’s a boy in front of Leif in his position (Zemura) that is doing extremely well.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to sit there a little bit, make sure you still do the right things, keep working hard, getting your opportunity when it comes and taking it.

“I think Leif is in that position at the moment.

“We signed him because he’s a very good player. At this moment he’s just waiting for the opportunity really.”

Davis played out of position on the right wing against the likes of Birmingham and Blackpool for Cherries, when they were stretched by injuries and suspensions earlier this season.

He arrived at the Dorset club having played 14 times at senior level for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Put to him that he signed the Leeds youngster as part of a marathon Championship season, former England midfielder Parker replied: “Yeah. It only comes through if you take on the attitude and the professionalism of what I’m talking about.

“That is making sure you are at your pinnacle, making sure you are at your optimum when you get that opportunity.

“When it does come, you cannot afford to have been off it in anyway. You need to try to take it – that’s the hard reality of professional sport.

“As unfair as some people may see that as though ‘I’m going to get one opportunity, that’s it’ yeah you do.

“Sometimes you’ve get one opportunity and you’ve got to grab it, you’ve got to take it.

“The only way you grab it and take it in my experience, is you make sure you are in a position to be at a level to go and perform 10 out of 10.

“That’s just it.”