MARK Travers has recognised the form of former teammate Sam Surridge – before stating that he hopes the striker has an off-day when he returns to Dorset with his new club.

Nottingham Forest are hot on the heels of Cherries, with the Tricky Trees knowing that victory at the Vitality Stadium is near-essential for them to snatch the final automatic spot out of the hands of the south coast outfit.

The pair face each other tomorrow evening (kick-off 7.00pm), with the game almost serving as a play-off final in terms of the consequences of defeat for either side

It has been a very odd season for 23-year-old Surridge, who initially left Cherries last summer to join Stoke City for a reported £5.5 million.

Unable to settle properly Trentside, a permanent move to Forest was sanctioned on deadline day, with Surridge linking up again with manager Steve Cooper, who worked with the Cherries academy graduate when he was on loan at Swansea.

Travers and Surridge both made their Premier League debuts for Cherries in the second-half of the 2018/19 season, going on to share the pitch together briefly in a chaotic final day defeat away at Crystal Palace.

With Travers being a goalkeeper and ex-teammate Surridge likely to start up-top, the pair’s personal duel could prove pivotal in the battle between second and third.

Speaking about Surridge, Travers told the Daily Echo: “Obviously he's doing really well at the moment, scoring a lot of goals which is great for him.

“I think it's been great for him obviously going to Forest in January and back with the manager he had at Swansea.

“So it's been great for him to find that form and hopefully he doesn't have it too much on Tuesday!”

There is a further Cherries link to the Forest side visiting the south coast tomorrow evening, with club stalwart Steve Cook returning to the Vitality Stadium for the first time since his departure to Nottingham in January.

Rather than stress the personal motivations and emotions of returning players, Travers was keen to stress that his side were focusing on themselves and obtaining the required result.

“I know they have Steve Cook and obviously Sam Surridge,” continued the 22-year-old.

“But once the game comes we just have to focus on getting our result.

“We know his (Surridge’s) attacking threat.

“(Ahead of) Tuesday night, we’ll be looking at clips and trying to do it the best we can and we just have to treat it as a normal game.”

Travers has made 43 league appearances this campaign, recording 18 clean sheets and conceding just 39 times.

With two games to go, he is tied with Huddersfield’s Lee Nicholls at the top of the charts, with both keepers having identical records.