SCOTT Parker says Cherries were not "at our best", but praised the way his side "ground it out" to defeat Queens Park Rangers.

Goals from Jaidon Anthony and Dominic Solanke gave Cherries a 2-0 half-time lead at Vitality Stadium.

However, the hosts were left clinging on for closing minutes, eventually winning 2-1 with Sam McCallum's effort not enough for Mark Warburton's men to take any points.

Cherries remain unbeaten, now up to second and only behind leaders West Bromwich Albion on away goals.

"I don’t think we were at our best by any stretch tonight," said boss Parker.

"On the flip side of that they came at us with a good start and we weather that a little bit, then we get our nose in front with two very good goals, lovely finishes.

"And then the second half, this is a team that have been down, were down at the weekend against Reading 3-1, they come back 3-3. Against Barnsley they were 2-0 down, 2-2. So we know their capabilities, as well as a team that’s not lost this year.

"So the second half there was a lot of things we want to get better at, we need to improve. We didn’t do well enough tonight, definitely.

"On the flip side, I say that, there were also things I loved about us. At times you’ve got to grind out results.

"Tonight was a game you had to grind it out. We ground it out. Desperation defending at times.

"We defended our box, keeper’s come to the fore and pulled off some massive saves for us to get the three points for us.

"So there’s elements I know we’re going to need moving forward, there’s also elements we need to improve."

He added: "What pleased me most, it doesn’t come natural to attacking players to get under the ball, to defend, to understand at this moment, this game is no longer about us attacking, this game is no longer about us being creative, this game is just – we are right up against it and I think for the last 10 minutes, they load the front line with six, seven, eight players, they put the ball in the right area and it isn’t going to be pretty.

"If we score and it goes 3-0, I can guarantee the game becomes in your hand and you see everything. It wasn’t like that tonight.

"What we see tonight we’re going to see again and that’s part and parcel of this league.

"I think we see against Blackpool, we have the game where it was, 2-0, 2-2 before you know it. Tonight we’ve come out with a result and we showed a side to us which was very pleasing."

Discussing the late siege on Cherries' goal from QPR, Parker said: "The longer the game goes on, you soon realise you’re no longer a threat going forward. We weren’t a threat late on in the last 10 minutes, just purely because we couldn’t retain the ball and the ball is coming.

"At that point, all hands to the pump and let’s just grind this out, defend it out.

"What’s easy for a player is just give us simple commands and the simple command is just head it and boot it.

"As old school as that sounds, and I don’t like saying it, that’s the facts and for the last 10 minutes, that was exactly what we needed to do."