TOP GUN Eddie Howe revealed how Cherries’ players opted to go clay pigeon shooting in a bid to fire on all cylinders following the international break.

The Cherries boss and his squad last week attended Purbeck Shooting School in Wareham and competed in teams to hit the target and avoid forfeits following the challenge.

The likes of Artur Boruc and Arnaut Danjuma impressed Howe with their accuracy, having attended the team bonding exercise.

And the Cherries boss insisted it had been good to keep competitive juices flowing ahead of Sunday’s home Premier League clash with Everton (2pm).

He told the Daily Echo: “It was actually chosen by the players. We wanted them to do something and they chose clay pigeon shooting – probably something they hadn’t done before.

“We entered some teams together and it was a good afternoon.

“They did very well, actually. It is an incredibly hard skill to master. I had a go and found it quite difficult.

“I think there were some naturals with a gun in their hand. Artur (Boruc) was very good. Arnaut Danjuma was very good and there were a couple of others. It was interesting to see.”

Howe has been renowned for taking his squads outside of their comfort zones in international breaks.

During his time at Burnley, the boss took his players sheep herding.

Twelve months ago with Cherries, he brought in the SAS for an orienteering task in Wareham Forest. The squad also competed at sailing during their summer pre-season tour to La Manga.

“It’s always interesting to see how they approach the task and the challenge you set them,” said Howe.

“What you want them to do is have a go and give their best, whether they have done it before or not.

“I have to say I compliment the group in that, they do respond to the challenges really well and then it becomes productive. Although we had a really small group left, we got some good work into the players.”

Asked how competitive his squad became during the tasks, the manager replied: “I think it depends on the forfeits you place upon it.

“If there is a forfeit for the losing team that they don’t like, then the levels go up.

“We have had some bad ones (forfeits) in there, just to try to stimulate that competition. We mix them up and keep them fresh.

“The natural instinct of the players is not to want to lose, which is a great thing. Everyone wants to win.

“You can’t train that really, that’s an instinct and I love to see that regardless of what they are doing or what they are playing. The competitiveness takes over.”