BOSS Scott Parker described Cherries’ precious victory over play-off chasing Coventry as “clinical and ruthless” as the Dorset club took a huge step towards automatic promotion.

A double from Dominic Solanke either side of half-time, along with Jamal Lowe’s opener, earned the visitors a 3-0 triumph over the Sky Blues at the CBS Arena.

Cherries had three shots on target against Mark Robins’s side – netting on all three occasions to move three points clear of third-placed Huddersfield, who had beaten Middlesbrough earlier in the day.

"It was clinical and ruthless," Parker told the Daily Echo. "I’d assess it exactly like that.

"The first half was very difficult for us. But we were clinical in our moments. We had two chances and we buried them. We had to weather it a little bit – it was a tough half against a very good side.

"They (Coventry) put seven goals past Fulham over two games. They beat Sheffield United 4-1 here only a few weeks ago. So, we knew the scale of what were up against.

"In the second half we fixed it a little bit tactically and in helping players," added Parker.

"I thought it worked. The goals came at the right time but we were clinical. I thought we were superb in the second half. Defensively very good and nullified them.”

Parker had said pre-match the race for automatic promotion has become “psychological”.

And while the Sky Blues were on top for large periods of the opening period, the head coach was pleased to see his troops dig in and show their mettle.

“It was vital, I said that to the boys at half-time,” he added, when asked about Cherries’ mental fortitude.

"Although the game didn't look how I would have liked it to in the first half, or certainly the amount we could assert ourselves on the game.

“I've been in the arena and on the pitch and I know that at those times it is not tactical or technical, you just have to dig in here.

“Let’s get to half-time, regroup a little bit, weather this storm and strip this right back and get to the basics of the game.

“I was very pleased that we did that. We defended set plays excellently.”