HARRY Arter is urging Cherries to use their Preston pain as a “wake-up call” and admits: “We can’t let it happen again.”
Arter gave a frank assessment of Cherries’ performance and his own display following the 2-0 defeat at Deepdale on Saturday.
Cherries suffered only their second league defeat since Eddie Howe’s return after first-half goals from Preston duo Stuart Beavon and Bailey Wright.
Arter, 23, was substituted in the 53rd minute as Cherries tried in vain to claw themselves back into the clash following a slow start.
Despite the rare off day, Cherries remained top of the League One standings by a point, with rivals Doncaster set to face Crawley tonight.
Arter is warning that Cherries must ensure they bounce back immediately as the race for promotion gathers pace in the weeks ahead.
The Londoner told the Daily Echo: “We have got to try to treat it as a wake-up call.
“The feeling we had in the changing room was not a feeling we want any more. We remember at the start of the season how we felt after consecutive losses. That is one thing, as a group, we never want to get back to.
“As much as we were very poor, Preston played really well and you need to give them credit where it is due.
“It sounds bad to say but they out-fought us and out-ran us and that was it. It looked like they wanted it more and we can’t let that happen again.”
Arter added: “Personally, I felt it was my worst performance under the gaffer. As a team, I would say it was probably our worst performance as well.
“It is a disappointing time but we can’t get away from how well we have done and the position we were in four or five months ago compared with where we are now.
“We need to make sure we bounce back the same way we did after we were defeated by Walsall.
“In football, you are always going to lose the odd game and the sign of a good team is not letting that turn into two or three losses on the bounce.”