Scott Parker admitted that his team will need to grind out results this season and that is exactly what they did as they beat Championship rivals QPR 2-1 at home.
Goals from Jaidon Anthony and Dominic Solanke secured the win, but the Cherries boss admitted goalkeeper Mark Travers was vital in helping secure all three points.
“For large parts of the night, I don’t think we were at our best by any stretch,” the head coach said.
“On the flip side of that, they came at us with a good start and we weathered that a little bit, then we got our noses in front with two very good goals – they were lovely finishes.
“Tonight was a game where you had to grind it out and we ground it out – desperation defending at times. The ‘keeper has come to the fore and pulled off some massive saves to get the three points for us.”
Gary Cahill was seen applauding the Cherries keeper after the game and Parker knows his goalkeeper put in a shift, praising his hard work and rapid rise in the first team.
“He stood up tonight for us.
“Travers has come a long way in a short space of time.
“He is a boy who works relentlessly and he’s kept us in the game tonight – he’s big for us.”
After QPR had pulled one back, Parker understood the need to regain control of the midfield and that was shown by the tactical switch of replacing David Brooks with Ben Pearson just after the hour mark as Rangers went in search of an equaliser.
“We needed to sort it out, we tried to do that with Ben [Pearson] and Jeff [Lerma] in and around that area and the longer the game goes on you soon realise no longer are you a threat going forward.
“We weren’t a threat late on in the last ten minutes – purely because we couldn’t retain the ball.
“At that point it was all hands to the pump and let’s just grind this out, defend it out really.
“There are definitely elements I want to improve, we need to improve, we need to get a control back into the game and we have to do that with the ball.”
Birthday boy Solanke managed to grab a goal as he celebrated turning 24 and Parker was keen to point out what he thought of his in form number nine.
He continued: “For me Dom [Solanke] is an all-round number nine, a modern-day number nine.
“What I mean by a modern-day number nine is that he works his socks off, fundamentally he’s a grounded centre-forward.
“He is the one who sets the press, he works tirelessly, sometimes in lost causes. Then on the flip side of that, he puts the ball in the back of the net – and that’s key.
“He won us the game tonight with his finish, so it was massive.”
Anthony also impressed, yet again, scoring his second and assisting his third goal of the campaign. The young winger continued to receive praise from his boss.
“The boy produces numbers physically every single week and works tirelessly for this team, he has got big quality as well.
“I was very, very pleased for Jaidon, he has done so well in a short space of time.”
The Cherries now move up to second, level on points with West Brom but remain off the top spot in the table due to having scored fewer away goals than the Baggies.