Pugh: Clinical edge crucial for Cherries recovery
FRUSTRATED Marc Pugh believes demonstrating a clinical edge at both ends of the field could hold the key to Cherries finally curing their travel sickness. Eddie Howe's high-fliers have just one win in 10 away league matches after losing 2-0 at MK Dons yesterday. Goals in each half from Lewis Guy and Mathias Doumbe condemned the Dean Court outfit to their fourth third tier loss on the road this term. Cherries were left to rue a poor first-half display and, despite producing a dominant performance after the break, headed home with nothing to show for their efforts. Leading marksman Pugh was heavily involved in the action admitting he should have cleared the ball in the build-up to Dons' opener, before then coming close to getting on the scoresheet as Cherries turned in a lively second-half showing. With a trip to Swindon looming on New Year's Day, Cherries will be desperate to put right their away-day problems. Asked if he was confident they had the personnel to win on the road, Pugh insisted: Yes, of course we have. On another day, we could have got a point here with Big Fletch's header and one or two other chances. It's just about being clinical. We've got to be clinical at both ends. Pugh added: It's all about mental strength, character and we've got to be willing to work hard. It's not an individual sport, it's a team sport. If there are 11 of us at the races then I think you have got to win the games if you are all playing well. The game at Swindon will be tough but we've got to go there with belief and win the game. Discussing Dons' opening goal and his own attempts to find the net, Pugh added: It was poor from me, personally. I should have just cleared it. I tried looking for a backpass and there wasn't one and I should have just got rid of it. But everyone makes mistakes and we've just got to put it behind us. I had a couple of chances in the second half and the keeper spread himself well. On another day, I could have scored with a better touch but it just wasn't to be and we've got to get back to our best and playing the way we know we can. Delivering his verdict on Cherries' performance, boss Howe added: I thought we were slow out of the traps and not ourselves at all, probably for the first time this season. We didn't look a good side and we paid for that. In the second half, we were excellent. We dominated and, on another day, would have come away with something.
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