LLOYD Kelly admits he is looking to “nail down” the left-back spot in Cherries’ first team when he returns from injury in the coming weeks.

The defender, 20, is yet to make his competitive debut for the club following his £13million summer arrival from Bristol City after suffering ankle ligament damage during a pre-season training session.

But the England under-21 ace, who can play on the left or in the centre of defence, is now nearing a return to action and following the news that Charlie Daniels is set to miss the rest of the season due to a dislocated patella, Kelly has his sights set on quickly cementing a spot in the side.

Asked if he is eyeing up the left-back position upon his return, Kelly told the Daily Echo: “Yes, definitely. Obviously playing left-back for the majority of the season last season and being able to adapt between the two positions has helped me a lot.

“But here I just feel like that’s the spot I need to nail down and play as many games as I can in that position, so I’m just looking forward to making that my position.

“Charlie has been here a long time and he’s done so well throughout his career. I just feel bad for him that this long-term injury has happened to him because he’s just come back from one in pre-season, so it’s just something that I need to nail down really.”

Eddie Howe’s options at left-back are currently limited with Daniels and Kelly sidelined, as well as Adam Smith who was withdrawn with a hamstring complaint at Leicester last time out.

Diego Rico and Nathan Ake have filled that berth in recent weeks, but Kelly revealed he is close to adding his name into the mix again.

Asked for an update on his injury, the summer signing said: “Progress is going well.

“We’re ahead of schedule at the moment with when I should be back, which is good.

“Probably the next couple of games back after the international break is where I should be back and ready to go.

“It was one of those things where you can’t really avoid it. With other injuries, with muscles and things like that, you can kind of do things to prevent it but this one was just a freak accident really, just a tackle and I couldn’t get out of the way.”

Kelly had impressed during pre-season with Cherries, featuring in friendlies against AFC Wimbledon, Girona and West Bromwich Albion before suffering his injury.

And he admits it was a tough pill to swallow so close to the start of the Premier League campaign.

Kelly said: “It was a hard hit really. (I was) settling in well and getting through pre-season as best I can and just hoping that something like that didn’t come up.

“But it’s just one of those things I couldn’t avoid. It was pretty much a week before the season started.

“We had two games, Lazio and Lyon, which I was looking forward to in the lead up to the first game of the season. Then the injury happened so it was a bit of an awkward situation there.”

He added: "I felt like I settled in quite quick. I managed to get my head around how the gaffer wants us to play and things like that, so it was going well up until this injury.

"But I don't think that's going to stop me from settling in even more and adapting to the way the gaffer wants me to play."

But with a comeback now in sight, Kelly is getting excited about fulfilling a childhood ambition and making his top-flight bow.

“It’s going to be special for me,” he said.

“From growing up it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League, watching it from such a young age and the people that have helped me get to where I am now, it’s just a big thank you really to myself and to everyone that has helped me to get into this situation where I’m at.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve got about five people messaging me already asking for tickets!”