ANDREW Surman is hoping to improve on his last outing against Liverpool – by helping AFC Bournemouth stop Luis Suarez.
The former Saints star is now a dad-of-two living back in Southampton during his season-long Cherries loan from Norwich City.
And tomorrow he should get the chance to play against Premier League opposition again, when Cherries take on Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round (12.45pm k.o).
Cherries manager Eddie Howe has not shown his players any footage of 22-goal Suarez, but Surman has seen plenty of him.
The Uruguayan has scored an incredible 11 goals in his last four games against Norwich and Surman was in the Canaries side that lost 5-2 at home to Liverpool at the beginning of last season, when Suaraez scored a hat-trick.
Last month Suarez put another four past Surman’s Norwich teammates at Anfield.
But midfielder Surman cannot wait for tomorrow.
“Everyone knows what Liverpool are about, they’ve had a really good start to the season and have some of the best players in the world," he said.
“But it’s important we don’t show them too much respect. Before I was injured we lost 5-2 to them at Carrow Road last season, but we had a few chances in that game.
“And anything can happen in a cup game.”
Surman suffered medial collateral ligament damage shortly after his one previous appearance against Liverpool and was loaned to Bournemouth for the duration of this season.
“The injury was frustrating, I did it in October/November 2012 and had lots of injections before a proper scan showed the ligament had come away from the bone,” he said.
“I had an operation and was out for the rest of the season. Not having played much going into this season, and with £30m being spent by Norwich in the transfer window, I didn’t think I’d get many opportunities to play this season.
“So going to Bournemouth was a good opportunity to get games under my belt. I still feel I’m a Premiership player but the only way you can get full match fitness back is by playing games.”
Southampton-born Surman made 146 appearances in five years for Saints before going to Wolves for £1.2m during the fire sale of 2009, a week before Markus Liebherr’s takeover.
The circumstances at Bournemouth are also very different to Surman’s five-month loan spell there seven years ago.
“Back then the players weren’t getting paid and they were on the brink of administration, but it’s changed now,” he said.
“They’ve got a big financial backer and there’s more structure to the club. Eddie Howe was still playing when I was last here and now he’s taking things forward as manager.”