SWINDON-born Matthew Mills will be aiming to make it a happy homecoming when he goes head-to head with a few old friends on Saturday.

The young Southampton centre-back - on loan at Cherries for a month - will come up against his England under-19 room-mate Lee Holmes for tomorrow's crucial League One clash with fellow play-off chasers Swindon Town (County Ground, 3pm kick-off).

Mills, whose parents live just 10 minutes from the County Ground, told the Daily Echo: "I was at Swindon from the age of eight or nine and played through for them up until the age of 14.

"I know a lot of the lads who are there, the backroom staff and the surroundings are familiar so it would be nice to go back, play well and show them what I can do.

"One of my best mates, Lee Holmes, is actually on loan there from Derby at the moment. He is my room-mate from the England under-18 and under-19 sides and we get on well.

"I gave him a call in the week and we had a laugh about things but we'll catch up properly after the game - hopefully after we've won!

"He's been talking about Bournemouth's form in the past before I was even at the club so I'll be going out to prove we get the right result this time.

"We know that we are good mates but we won't be out on the pitch. We are both there to do a job for our teams and it is an important game for both sides."

Although just 18, Mills has shown maturity and intelligence way beyond his years in his two games for the club so far with his first career goal in last weekend's draw with Tranmere.

Confident and assured in the heart of the defence, it is no surprise that Harry Redknapp has tipped him as a Saints star of the future and a real piece of shrewd work from Sean O'Driscoll that he has managed to borrow him.

Mills said: "I've really enjoyed it at Bournemouth so far. There hasn't been much opportunity for training with all the midweek games but I had an injury a while ago and had too much training for my liking lately. It is just good to be out there playing first-team football."

Although League One football is a far cry from the FA Premier Reserve League, the England under-19 star has slotted in seamlessly in the wake of Cherries' crippling defensive injury list that has robbed them of Neil Young, Karl Broadhurst, Eddie Howe and Stephen Purches.

Mills said: "I am learning all the time. I think you are learning if you are only playing two or three minutes of first-team football so I've learnt a lot already in two games. I will take those bits with me for the rest of my career and I'm sure I will pick up more the longer I am here.

"I haven't found it too difficult to adapt so far. I have just tried to do what I've been told to do and it seems to be going okay. It helps having good players around you who have proved that they are worthy of getting a place in the play-offs and I think the club can go on to make them."