Eddie Howe says Danny Ings' determination is a shining example to other footballers as he prepares to stop the in-form Southampton man returning to haunt relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
Saints striker Ings has struck 20 Premier League goals during a prolific campaign and remains with an outside chance of claiming the golden boot.
The 27-year-old began his career with the Cherries in League One and will be back at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday attempting to add to the current woes of his struggling former club.
Bournemouth boss Howe, who handed Ings his professional debut a decade ago, feels the player is deservedly reaping the rewards of his drive to succeed having worked his way through the divisions and been blighted by a string of injury issues.
“Danny’s a great example of what you can achieve even in difficult circumstances because his background and everything he went through to make it as a footballer wasn’t a smooth journey at all,” said Howe. “He had a lot of challenges along the way. He needed great mental strength to overcome those hurdles and the thing that struck me with him was just his desire and motivation levels were always so high.”