MARC Pugh is targeting a return to home rule after helping Cherries find a cure for their travel sickness.

Pugh has been one of Cherries’ most consistent performers during an indifferent start to their League One campaign.

The winger has netted four times in 11 league and cup appearances and is already ahead of last season’s goal tally at the same stage.

But while Cherries were flying high in second place after nine league games a year ago, they currently find themselves languishing in 17th.

Back-to-back away wins at Leyton Orient and Exeter halted an alarming run of five consecutive league defeats – including three on the trot at the Seward Stadium.

Cherries will be bidding to avoid a fourth successive home defeat for the first time since 2005 when they host in-form Hartlepool on Saturday.

Pugh told the Daily Echo: “Hopefully, the two away wins can be a springboard for us. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves and Hartlepool have made a great start so it is going to be tough.

“We need to make our home form as good as it was last season. It was a fortress and we only lost five league games, including one against Hartlepool.

“The lads have showed great character over the past few days. We could have gone to Orient and sunk because the pressure was on. It just shows what a good bunch we have got here.

“We have got a lot of new players and have probably taken a bit of time to gel. Hopefully, we have clicked as a team now though. The formation is suiting us down to the ground and is working well. We have had two positive results and I don’t see why can’t go on to get a third.”

Pugh was a key figure in last season’s play-off near miss and scored nine times in his first 19 appearances to help propel Cherries into the promotion mix.

The 24-year-old, whose form suffered after he had sustained a knee injury at Orient in November, completed the scoring during a 3-1 win at Brisbane Road a week ago.

Pugh believes striker Wes Thomas, who scored one and had a hand in the other two at Orient, has been one of the main reasons behind Cherries’ upturn in fortunes.

“He works really hard, runs the channels and holds up the ball well,” said Pugh. “It is great, especially for myself as a winger because you can get up the field and have more one-v-ones. He has scored a couple of great goals and has helped my game. He has given the club a big lift.”

Pugh added: “I have been pleased with my form so far this season. My goal tally is similar to last season so, hopefully, I will be close to 10 by Christmas. I have just got to continue getting into the box and getting goalscoring opportunities.”