SCOTT Parker has admitted that he knew the long ball “was going to be a major part" of the game as Cherries were only able to record a 1-1 draw at Millwall.

Parker’s side led through another Dominic Solanke effort – his 15th of the Championship campaign – but were pegged back after former Cherry Benik Afobe was able to convert a route-one knock-on.

And the boss was honest in admitting his side were under pressure from a direct Millwall attack, but insists that they defended the long balls confidently aside from the costly lapse.

Speaking after the game, he told the Daily Echo: “I thought we defended really well on the long ball.

“We knew that was going to be a major part. We'd been through that over the last couple of days.

“We just didn’t really challenge the first one and then the flick on, there’s a lot of runners.

“These games are always difficult. There's two ways of stopping it - one, you’ve got to defend well and then when you’ve got the ball you’ve got to try and have some sort of control.”

He added: “I feel that’s the way the game goes, there’s a psychological element that when the game becomes so frantic and you’re under pressure, when the time comes and you need to be brave and take that commitment to play.

“I get it, I’ve been in that arena – but we just struggled with it (on Wednesday).”

It’s been a rocky month for the previously unbeaten Cherries, who now remain behind Fulham at the summit of the division.

Cherries endured their first two losses in defeats against Preston and Derby, which sandwiched an impressive 4-0 win over a confident Swansea side.

With a home contest against play-off chasing Coventry to round out the month, Parker insisted it was important to escape the Lions’ Den with a point.

“Yeah definitely,” he said.

"Two games now we’ve been in front and one we’ve lost, the other they’ve come back, so there’s definitely elements there we need to look at and improve on really.

“But this is a well earned point.

"We have had a little bit of a blip in the last few games and that’s probably corresponding to the amount of injuries we’ve got, but that’s the Championship.

“That’s the way it is so hopefully we will get back to winning ways at the weekend.”