WES Thomas set his sights on a fresh start under Eddie Howe after claiming Cherries’ previous management had failed to bring out the best in him.

The striker suggested ex-boss Paul Groves had not “backed me as a player” prior to sending him for a loan spell with Portsmouth.

Thomas made his first appearance since Howe recalled him from Pompey when he was a second-half substitute in Cherries’ 1-0 victory at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

The 25-year-old revealed his spell at Fratton Park had helped restore his confidence as he scored three goals in seven games for Cherries’ League One rivals.

And speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo last night, Thomas insisted he had plenty to offer in his bid to get his Goldsands Stadium career back on track.

He said: “He (Howe) seems keen to give me a chance so, hopefully, I will get that because I feel that I can offer the team quite a lot.

“I think I have proved that I can score goals at this level and it is just about now getting the chance and getting a manager who believes in you as a player.

“When I went to Portsmouth, Michael Appleton believed in me and sat me down and spoke to me about what he expected of me.

“When a manager believes in you, you go out with confidence and that is what happened with me at Portsmouth.

“I didn’t think I was getting the backing when Paul Groves was in charge and that is why I don’t think the supporters saw the best performances from me.

“It is a fresh start now so, hopefully, I will be in the team again and scoring goals.”

Thomas had struggled to hit the net prior to his Pompey loan switch.

He added: “I wasn’t putting away the chances I was getting.

“The old manager decided to change things up and I knew that I needed to go out and get some games under my belt, especially earlier in the season where you are not going to be at 100 per cent.

“I showed what I can do and it did me the world of good.”