(Reuters) - Midfielder Harry Arter says his exclusion from Bournemouth's first team this season has helped him improve as he fights for a regular spot in manager Eddie Howe's side, the Ireland international has said.
Arter was benched or left out of Bournemouth's squad in four of their five Premier League games from Sept. 22 due to a slump in form and an Achilles injury but the 27-year-old believes his omission helped reinvigorate him.
"I am old enough to realise I am in a professional game at the highest level and, if I am not performing well, I am not going to play," Arter told the Daily Echo.
"This is probably the first season I have had to taste that throughout my career here and playing under the gaffer... It has been a good learning curve and I feel I have improved from that period.
"Managers have to be ruthless at times and I understand that. It is a good quality to have. Every top manager has it and every player has to accept it."
Arter has since regained his place and played in Bournemouth's last three league games, which ended in two wins and a draw as Howe's side climbed out of the relegation zone.
Bournemouth are 14th in the table and host seventh-placed Burnley on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)