BOSS Eddie Howe is confident his players will maintain their late surge for the play-offs after feeling their recent exertions may have caught up with them at Yeovil on Saturday.
Howe’s charges, bidding to make it six wins on the trot, were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after coming from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against the Glovers at Huish Park.
Relegation-threatened Yeovil took the lead through Kieffer Moore’s finely-taken first-half strike before Ryan Fraser’s fluke equaliser midway through the second half earned Cherries a point.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “We will never give up. Who knows what is in store, how many points will be needed and who will take that sixth spot?
“I was proud of my players again. We gave everything and, at 1-0 down on a difficult ground, we could easily have been beaten. But we weren’t and it was another point. We have four big games to come and will see where it takes us.
“I don’t think it will be too big a knock. The players will see the bigger picture and we will certainly highlight that to them. We want to win every game and that was the plan. But there are two teams and the opposition will always try to stop you. I felt Yeovil tried to do that to us and tried to make it a second-ball game. I felt we responded okay to the challenge.
“The players know there are some big games to come and we need to try to respond in the right fashion. Yeovil have fantastic spirit and togetherness and their display didn’t surprise me one bit. I would like to see them do well and stay in the league if possible.”
Howe added: “We weren’t at our very best. Physically, we looked a little tired. I thought we looked a little leggy after the exertions of recent weeks, the number of games we have had and what we have given in those games.
“In saying that, it could have gone either way. It was end to end and both teams went for the three points. You could see both teams’ attitude to the game was excellent.
“We just lacked our usual zip and sharpness and I felt that was what held us back because there was some good play in there. We had a couple of really good chances that we could have done better with so we were slightly disappointed.
“We had some good moments in the first half, especially through Lewis Grabban who had a couple of good opportunities in and around the box. In the second half, chances were less clear-cut but we still had a couple of good moments.
“Their goal was a great strike but we were disappointed because we knew one of their threats was their central free kicks and we didn’t react well to the second ball.
“Our goal was unusual to say the least. It just hit Ryan but fair play to him for closing down the boy because sometimes you get your rewards for hard work.
“The lads gave everything and were absolutely shattered in the dressing room. It was certainly not a disastrous day and there is still plenty to play for. Whatever happens, we will look forward to the remaining games.”