MATT Ritchie insists Cherries have the firepower to overcome defensive Dean Court opponents but admits they need to take more risks.

The Cherries star expects visiting teams to continue piling men behind the ball in a bid to stifle the Dorset outfit’s attacking threats.

Cherries were unable to plot a route through a resilient and solid Sheffield United team as they suffered a frustrating 1-0 home defeat on Saturday.

It was the first time Cherries had failed to hit the net in a League One match on home territory since Howe succeeded Paul Groves.

The promotion hopefuls had previously flexed their muscles by rising to the top of the division’s goalscoring charts by netting 57 times this season.

And Ritchie, a big-money signing from Swindon Town during the January transfer window, is confident they can add plenty to that tally in the face of resolute rivals.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s home clash with Coventry (7.45pm), Ritchie told the Daily Echo: “Everyone knows we like to play football, we like to pass it out from the back and we have got a good scoring record.

“Teams will be aware of that and be very cautious about how they play when they come here.”

Asked how Cherries could go about getting past durable opponents, Ritchie replied: “I think you have just got to take a few more risks.

“In the final third, maybe take a few more risks and try to make that final pass the right pass and make good decisions, and I am sure the goals will come.

“The quality in the squad is unbelievable for this league. There are goals from all over the pitch.

“If everyone can keep chipping in and scoring goals, I am sure we can all kick on together.”

Since joining Cherries, Ritchie has been asked to fill in at left-back as well as being utilised in his preferred position on the right wing.

With Charlie Daniels still missing due to a foot injury, former Pompey ace Ritchie says he is happy to help.

He added: “The gaffer asked me to play there and I said that as long as I am on the pitch, I will be happy.

“I don’t mind where I play.

“Ideally, I am a right or left midfielder but if the gaffer needs me to play left-back and do a job for the team, I will do my best.”

Meanwhile, manager Howe reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the clash with eighth-placed Coventry.