CHERRIES boss Scott Parker confirmed he made the call to leave out Ben Pearson during the 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough last time out.

The former Preston man was not among the substitutes for the clash on Teesside, during which the Dorset club suffered their second defeat on the bounce.

But speaking to the Daily Echo ahead of Monday’s Championship trip to Queens Park Rangers, the head coach confirmed Pearson was okay to feature and it was “difficult” to leave him out against Boro.

Parker said: “Ben’s fine. I think I have said many times, there are difficult decisions I have to make.

“At the weekend, there was one there I had to make in terms of leaving players out of the squad.

“Unfortunately, that decision I made was best for the team and how I see the game maybe going and how I needed to prepare the bench.

“Ben missed out but – as always – is still a big part.”

Pearson was replaced by Emiliano Marcondes at half-time against Blackburn in his most recent appearance for Cherries.

The Oldham-born midfielder has made 14 Championship appearances this season.