MATT Ritchie is convinced an injection of belief has been behind Cherries’ recent purple patch.

Ritchie netted twice as Eddie Howe’s men moved to within two points of the Championship play-off places thanks to a 3-1 win over Reading. Yann Kermorgant also found the net for the Dorset club.

Winger Ritchie, who took his tally for the season to eight, said: “It was another good win.

“We are on a good run and just need to keep it going. I think it is down to belief. We have all started to believe and realise how good a team we are.

“We are set up well and have good players who are all performing as a team. That has shown in the past few weeks and we have come on leaps and bounds. The confidence throughout the group is excellent. We just want to keep it going.”

Victory took Howe’s men to ninth in the table.

Cherries: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Harte, Ritchie (MacDonald, 90), Surman, O’Kane, Pugh (Fraser, 73), Grabban (Pitman, 84), Kermorgant.

Unused subs: Smith, Ward, Rantie, Allsop (g/k).