CAPTAIN Tommy Elphick has issued a warning to Cherries’ League One rivals: Our sharpshooters will get even better.

Elphick gave his assessment of Cherries’ firepower after watching Eddie Howe’s men rocket to the top of the division’s scoring charts.

Cherries posted their half-century to move a goal ahead of Swindon and Coventry following the 3-1 victory over Crewe at Dean Court six days ago.

Brett Pitman’s hat-trick saw Cherries rack up their 50 – already two more than the team registered during the entire 2011-12 third flight campaign.

Free-scoring Cherries have benefited from the efforts of Lewis Grabban (11 league goals in 26 games) and Pitman (seven in nine).

Elphick also believes the talents of Marc Pugh, Josh McQuoid, Matt Tubbs and Cherries’ back-up frontmen gives opponents much to ponder.

The stand-in skipper, Cherries’ leading appearance-maker with 32 starts this term, told the Daily Echo: “All of the forwards possess different qualities and bring something different to the table.

“Whether it is Tubbsy, Brett, Grabbs or whoever the gaffer decides to choose, everyone has got something different.

“Sometimes, you are only as good as your strikers. They help the back four keep clean sheets and they are certainly doing that at the moment by taking a bit of pressure off us.

“The first thing teams look at when they come here now is how they are going to stop us. Sometimes, that plays into our hands a little bit more and, sometimes, it doesn’t.”

Pitman is set to feature when Cherries visit promotion rivals MK Dons tomorrow (3pm).

Former Brighton centre-half Elphick added: “It was always going to take time with Brett because he hadn’t played that many games for that long. He is a player that is only going to get better for us.

“His hat-trick came at the right time because we need a massive push again now with some big games coming up, especially in February.”