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Cherries: We live to fight another day says boss Howe
James Husband’s dramatic late winner saw League One leaders Doncaster Rovers inflict on Cherries a fifth successive reverse at Dean Court yesterday.
Husband netted three minutes from time – and just seconds after Matt Tubbs had cancelled out Billy Paynter’s opener – to give Rovers a 10-point cushion over Cherries.
Howe’s men are also seven points behind second-placed Sheffield United and three adrift of Brentford, who currently occupy the final play-off berth.
“It was a pivotal game for us and it didn’t go our way,” said Howe. “We would have closed the gap significantly if we had won but, unfortunately, it went against us. But we live to fight another day and nothing has been decided.
“I thought we deserved to win and the lads showed great application and attitude. We were on the front foot, we were trying to take the game by the scruff of the neck and really force the issue.
“We created a number of chances, we hit the woodwork twice and their goalkeeper made some good saves. In the end, we lost in quite bizarre circumstances and that is just the way things are going for us at the moment.”
Cherries supporters were still celebrating Tubbs’s leveller when Rovers mounted a swift counter-attack and Husband fired home from a tight angle.
Howe added: “We should and could have come away with points but, unfortunately, the ball is not bouncing in key areas of the pitch at the moment.
“Doncaster are a strong and resolute team but I felt we dealt with their set-play threat very well and some of our play was excellent as we carved out chances.
“It was difficult to take because these are key results for us at a key time of the season and we are not, for whatever reason, getting the rub of the green.
“I felt we were masters of our own downfall and made some poor decisions at that stage of the game. We had them under pressure and three players had an opportunity to play a forward pass but didn’t. We got caught by a sucker-punch.
“It was a very committed performance and, at times, a very good performance. Unfortunately, we weren’t ruthless enough in their box and didn’t take the chances that came our way.
“It is not a nice feeling but, as much as you enjoy the good times, you have to roll up your sleeves, batten down the hatches and withstand the bad.
“Results will dictate how you feel and that is the nature of the beast. It is very cut-throat in that way. But we have got to bounce back as quickly as we can.
“I believe in this team very much and think we are one result from kick-starting our season again. But we don’t want that win to come too late and leave ourselves with too much to do.”