TENACIOUS midfielder Ben Pearson feels Cherries showed "a lot of quality and a lot of grit" to defeat Sheffield United, adding: "In this league, that's what you need."

Pearson is a Championship stalwart, having spent more than four consecutive seasons playing regularly in the division with Preston North End, before joining Cherries eight months ago.

The Manchester United academy graduate impressed again on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes in the pouring rain as Cherries battled back to defeat the Blades 2-1 at Vitality Stadium thanks to goals from Dominic Solanke and Philip Billing.

The victory lifted Scott Parker's side back to the top of the Championship table, as the only unbeaten side still left in the EFL.

"It was a tough game," Pearson told the Daily Echo.

"I think we knew it was going to be physical like that. We sort of prepared for the physical battle.

"As much as they (Sheffield United) want to play, they like to mix it up as well.

"I think the conditions didn’t help either with playing through the thirds.

"It was a lot of second balls, a lot of spinning it in behind and playing for territory. So we competed well and had glimpses of quality when you need it as well."

He added: "I think everyone knew it was a big game.

"Obviously Sheffield United have just come down (from the Premier League), we know they’ve got good players and we knew it was going to be a test.

"I think naturally you get up for those sort of games, with it being the conditions as well, being at home, a chance to go top of the league, I think all those sort of factors made it more entertaining."

Defeat for West Brom against Stoke on Friday evening, coupled with a heavy loss for Fulham against Coventry on Saturday lunchtime meant Cherries needed just a point to return to the top of the standings heading into the two-week international break.

Asked if those results around the league this weekend served as an added boost ahead of kick-off, Pearson said: "No, not really. I don’t think anyone was looking at the table before the game, but we knew a win would take us top, on Friday night anyway.

"I think that gives you that added motivation to go and win the game. Just overall pleased with the performance from everyone.

"A lot of quality and a lot of grit and I think in this league that’s what you need."

Pearson showed his grit, in the wars himself when he slid and collided with Blades skipper Billy Sharp, which led to a bloodied nose.

After some treatment the 26-year-old played on, but his wound was still on show post-match.

Asked how the injury was, Pearson insisted: "It’s okay. It’s getting there!

"I just went in for a tackle and the guy came behind me and caught me, but it was okay."