BOSS Eddie Howe feels Cherries are finally getting the rewards they deserve at the back following a string of robust performances.
Cherries kept Blackpool off the scoresheet in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Bloomfield Road, a week on frmo shutting out Doncaster Rovers.
That meant the Dean Court side recorded back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season.
And Howe believes that after restricting high-flyers Burnley and Derby to a goal apiece recently, keeping a blank slate was apt reward.
He told the Daily Echo: “I felt we deserved clean sheets in the Burnley and Derby games because we defended magnifi-cently against top sides.
“It just seemed our luck was against us and we’d find a way to concede, but these two clean sheets show that we’re moving in the right direction defensively.
“The lads have done a lot of hard work on it. No one likes conceding goals, especially me as a defender, so I’m delighted with the clean sheets and hopefully we can get more between now and the end of the season.
“In the Championship you can have the aerial, direct threat of a side like Blackpool and then there are passing sides that you come up against.
“You need to be prepared for every style of football and hopefully we’re learning from previous experiences and improving all the time.”
Howe believes that both individually and collectively, his defenders and goalkeeper deserve significant credit for the manner in which they dealt with Blackpool’s threat.
And he singled out left-back Ian Harte for special praise following the Irishman’s recent run in the side, brought about by the thigh injury suffered by Charlie Daniels.
He said: “The communication between the back four and Campy (Lee Camp) was excellent and I don’t think they had a clear-cut chance in the game.
“The back four defended very well and the midfield and front two protected them.
“I’ve asked questions of our defenders because of our defensive record but individually they were all very good performers.
“Ian Harte deserves special mention because he’s been faultless since he’s come back into the team.”