DAVID James was adamant the feeling of disappointment following Cherries’ clash with League One rivals Swindon had spoken volumes about the progress being made under Eddie Howe.
Goalkeeper James admitted the 1-1 draw had “felt like a defeat” after Robins striker Andy Williams had netted a dramatic late equaliser to earn the visitors a share of the spoils at Dean Court.
Williams profited from some ponderous defending from Cherries, his 85th-minute leveller the first goal conceded in open play by former England stopper James in more than nine hours.
James, Wes Fogden, Eunan O’Kane and Steve Cook were all involved as a series of errors contributed to Cherries letting slip victory after Harry Arter’s sublime strike had given them a first-half lead.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, James said: “The equaliser was scrappy. My initial free-kick was headed back and I came out to block the advancing player. The ball ricocheted off one of our players and landed at their guy’s feet. The only time the ball bounced was when his shot went over Cookie’s leg. It was one of those things.
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“It felt like a defeat. Having said that, they missed a chance in the first half which I think will probably be on Soccer AM’s ‘Taxi’. It wasn’t a one-sided game and they had their chances. I thought we played extremely well in very bad conditions and tried to play our natural passing game. Swindon played a long-ball game which suited them in the conditions and gave our defence a lot to deal with.
“Swindon are a very good side and, defensively, have the best record in the division. We created a lot of chances and their goalkeeper made two crucial saves in the second half. Had they scored first and we had come back, we probably would have been happier.
“When we review the game, it will be positive because there was a lot of good stuff in there. The manager said that if we finish above Swindon, we will get promotion. I know it will sound a bit paradoxical, but it is nice not being happy after drawing a game like that. It is testament to where we are though.
“We outplayed them and carved them open at times. You can’t guarantee a result but you can affect a performance. If we continue to perform like we did against Swindon then we will win more games.
“There was a shared disappointment from the result but there is a shared belief in the dressing room that we will do well. The spirit and camaraderie has been top-drawer all the time I have been here. We have just got to continue doing what we are doing.”