Fletch: We have to earn it
Cherries star Steve Fletcher believes his beloved club deserves success but has warned his promotion-chasing colleagues: We've got to earn it. The club captain's passionate rallying cry came ahead of tomorrow's home meeting with Hereford and after Cherries saw their healthy six-point lead over the play-off places remain intact despite Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Lincoln. Brett Pitman's 21st league goal of the campaign proved in vain as Davide Somma's double denied dominant Cherries at Sincil Bank. But regardless of that setback, results elsewhere mean Eddie Howe's men are tantalisingly close to realising their promotion dream with just five games remaining. And with the promised land of League One looming on the horizon, Fletcher told his team-mates to remain focused and not rely on other sides slipping-up. He said: It's a six-point cushion and it's a small consolation for losing. If we'd come off and everyone had won, we'd have been tearing our hair out. We are looking over our shoulder five or 10 minutes after the final whistle everyone is looking for the results you can't help that and it's just natural. But we've got to do it ourselves and we can't be relying on other teams losing. We've got to go out with five games to go and stay undefeated and try to win all five. It's as simple as that. We've got two home games next and, it doesn't matter who you are playing against, in two home games you would hope to take maximum points. When asked what the key factors would be as the promotion race gathers pace, Fletcher said: All the old scenarios come into play cool heads, we've got to stay focused and the boys have got to be up for everything. It doesn't matter whether we're playing against top of the league or bottom of the league, every game from now until the end of the season is huge. You have to make sure that is the focus because you can't just think oh well, if we don't get a result here, we've still got four more games'. They will just come and go before we know it. We deserve success for what we've been through, but we've got to earn it. And we've got to go into the five remaining games, making sure that we do the job that's needed. Discussing Saturday's ill-deserved defeat, the 37-year-old added: It was some of the best passing we have done for months. I'd like to see the statistics shots on target and possession but it doesn't count for anything unless you do the dirty work. As good as we played, it didn't count for anything.
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