Cape Town - Bournemouth midfielder Andrew Surman admits it has been difficult to deal with the lack of opportunities he's been afforded this season.
The 33-year-old has been a regular in the Cherries starting XI since making the move, initially on loan, from Norwich City in 2013.
The South African-born ace has made 193 appearances in all competitions for the south-coast outfit but has been on the peripheries in 2019-2020.
Surman has enjoyed just 55 minutes of top-flight action from three substitute appearances while playing every minute of Bournemouth's Carabao Cup campaign to date.
Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing have been preferred in midfield by Eddie Howe and Surman has had to watch from the bench, but the veteran feels it is just part and parcel of life for a player the wrong side of 30.
"It's been a slow one for me so far, but in a way that's the natural progression at the top level of football," he told the Eastern Daily Press.
"Every year teams are adding to their squads, players come in and the squad keeps evolving all the time. You've just got to be patient and wait for your chance."
Having started his career at Southampton, the former England Under-21 schemer ended up at Carrow Road in 2010 and played 58 times for the Canaries.
It remains to be seen if he is given the nod to feature against his former employers when Daniel Farke's men come calling on Saturday afternoon.
Howe's charges have not won a league encounter since downing Southampton 3-1 at St Mary's on September 20 while the East Anglians will still be reeling from a 5-1 home drubbing at the hands of Aston Villa prior to the international break.
However, Surman is "expecting a reaction" from the visitors who will be "at their best" this weekend.
- TeamTalk Media