CAPTAIN Miles Addison insisted Cherries had added “steel” to their game after leading a solid performance at Doncaster.
Addison played his part in an excellent defensive display alongside Steve Cook, Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels as Cherries recorded a 1-0 win at Keepmoat Stadium yesterday.
Harry Arter’s 38th-minute strike extended to seven matches Cherries’ unbeaten run since Eddie Howe returned to the Dorset club.
But they were forced to play on the back foot for long periods before registering a third clean sheet in 17 League One games this term.
Addison, who helped nullify the aerial threat of Rovers strike duo Billy Paynter and Chris Brown, praised the work ethic of his team-mates.
He said: “Everyone stood their ground in a tough place to come.
“Doncaster are doing very well in the league. To come here and get the three points in the way we did was highly satisfying for me as well, along with the clean sheet.
“I thought me, Tommy, Cooky and Charlie Daniels all stood strong and the clean sheet was just proof of that.
“The only thing I thought was missing from this squad coming into pre-season was a bit of steel and we seem to be developing that.”
Addison continued: “Confidence is massive. The boys are trying passes that they maybe wouldn’t have tried a few weeks ago and they are coming off now.
“As a back four, we are relying on each other a lot more, which maybe a few weeks ago we wouldn’t have done. The big thing is we are playing more as a team.
“Last week, how hard the front six worked at Carlisle and how hard they have been working makes the back four’s job a lot easier. Seeing everyone putting in a shift and more is just brilliant for us at the back.”
The former Derby County star revealed that boss Howe had worked on various aspects of Cherries’ defensive play since his appointment.
Cherries skipper Addison added: “Nearly every day, we have done something with the manager on defending crosses, particularly.
“If you look at the goals we have conceded this season, there have been quite a lot of crosses.
“He has done a lot of work to improve that and it is showing on the pitch.”