GARY O’Neil does not see Cherries “just going into every game and being the same” this season when it comes to tactical shape, with the interim head coach stressing the need for his charges to be “flexible”.

Cherries have flitted between numerous shapes and formations under O’Neil this season, both between games and during matches.

At times they have lined up with three at the back, whilst also showing they are adept at playing in a traditional four man defence.

When asked if Cherries’ flexibility will be key in their bid for survival, O’Neil told the Daily Echo: “I think it will be.

“How we are and being newly promoted, we need to be (flexible).

“I don't see us just going into every game and being the same and that helping us.

“I think we need to be adaptable.

“Of course there will be times where we can stay the same, but I think we need to be flexible and adaptable with our game plans and how we approach each game.”

Cherries have seemingly found joy when matching the rough shape and formations of opponents.

The Dorset club sparked a remarkable turnaround at the City Ground after switching to a three-man central-defence akin to Nottingham Forest’s own tactics, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win.

In following games, this trend has continued, although O’Neil stressed that any similar shapes were coincidence, the consequence of other tactical decisions.

“I don't ever really think it's matching anything that they're doing,” he commented.

“I think it's always areas that we need to be strong in, and areas that I think we can exploit.

“So the shape may vary slightly at different times.

“I never really consider matching anyone up. That wouldn't really be how I think about it.”

One of the most notable changes between games, beyond the differing defensive systems of three central defenders or a flat back four, is the line up of Cherries’ attacking players.

Due to injury and tactically decisions, O’Neil has deployed a variety of different players up front, sometimes in a striker partnership between Dominic Solanke and Kieffer Moore, other times opting for a front three with Marcus Tavernier and Ryan Christie off the shoulder of the number nine.

“It's each game as it comes, so the positioning of the players will depend on opposition, what we have available,” revealed the former Porstmouth and West Ham midfielder.

“There will generally be slight changes to it, so I think it it's hard to say, really.

“I do have some preferred formations and styles that I like, but always in the front of my mind is what the opposition are, what we have available and how they sort of match up.”