MIDFIELD playmaker Harry Arter insists Cherries must be prepared to mix brain with brawn if they are to finish their Championship campaign on a high.
Arter says Cherries will need to show their battle qualities, especially as four of their final five away games are against teams fighting for survival.
Cherries missed out on the chance to close the gap on the play-off places when they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Arter’s former club Charlton on Tuesday.
And Arter knows Eddie Howe’s men, who have won many admirers this season with their stylish brand of football, will face another stern test at bottom-placed Barnsley on Saturday.
Discussing their run-in on the road, which also includes trips to Birmingham, Yeovil and Millwall, Arter told the Daily Echo: “These games are going to be different. Although you probably wouldn’t have expected it, Charlton was more of a battle than a football match.
“In some circumstances, we need to try to change the way we approach games and make sure we understand teams are going to do that. As well as playing the ball around like we do, we need to fight to make sure there are no recurrences of the Charlton result.
“We looked at it before the game and knew we would have been eight points away from the play-offs if we had won. We wanted to try to sneak up and looked at the Charlton game as a game we thought we could have won.
“We went to Blackburn and upset a few people there by winning. We didn’t just win, we won the right way and thought we could carry that on at Charlton. Apart from the first 25 to 30 minutes, we weren’t good enough and the manager will make us realise that and make us learn from it.
“We want to finish as high as we can. First and foremost, this season has been about trying to stay in the league and, unless we have a terrible run, it looks like we should achieve that. As a team, we want to win as many games as we can and carry on the form that we were in before Charlton.
“We were disappointed for the travelling fans because we didn’t put on a performance. But you are going to get that with us here and there because we try to play football the right way. It takes a lot of energy to play the way we do and perhaps a bit of fatigue and the state of the pitch didn’t help.
“We have to get it out of our minds and start preparing for Barnsley because it is going to be a similar sort of game. We need to learn from the Charlton game and try to get better.”