Andrew Surman: Bournemouth 'mentally strong for run in'

Yann Kermorgant
Andrew Surman has scored three goals in 31 appearances since joining Bournemouth from fellow promotion hopefuls Norwich in September

Bournemouth midfielder Andrew Surman believes the Cherries head into the final 10 games of the season "mentally stronger" than they were a month ago.

Eddie Howe's side endured a five-match winless run in February, but have returned to the top of the Championship with two straight wins in March.

And Surman believes the squad have learned from that bad run.

"It's difficult not get downhearted, but it's important not to," Surman told BBC Radio Solent.

"You would prefer to drop points early rather than at the end of the season when there is no time to make it back.

"We've come out of it mentally stronger. I think that is why we have won our last two games and hopefully we can put a run together now."

Championship table - 10 games to go
TeamPlayedWonGDPoints
Bournemouth36193566
Derby County36192966
Watford36202866
Middlesbrough36192866
Norwich City36193165
Brentford36191262
Ipswich Town36171761
Wolves3616658

And assistant manager Jason Tindall believes the Cherries are well placed to win promotion to the Premier League with a fully-fit squad at Howe's disposal.

However, midfielder Harry Arter will miss Saturday's home game against Blackpool after an independent regulatory commission hearing found him guilty of improper conduct after their 3-1 loss at Brentford last month.

He has also been fined £2,000 for the incident relating to his "language and/or behaviour in or around the tunnel area".

Meanwhile, forward Yann Kermorgant returned to full training this week, as did midfield pair Eunan O'Kane and Dan Gosling.

"The last two results have been great for us," said Tindall. "And with the guys getting themselves back fit and available it's a big bonus for us.

"We are on a good run and full of confidence. The result against Fulham helped, with five goals away from home.

"Every game from now until the end of the reason is big for many reasons."

The Cherries host Blackpool on Saturday before games against Cardiff and Middlesbrough inside, what Tindall considers, a season defining seven days.

"It's Blackpool at home, they are scrapping and fighting for their lives at the bottom of the league," Tindall said.

"It won't be an easy game, followed by tough games against Cardiff and at home against Middlesbrough. It's a big week, a really important week. Our main focus is Blackpool."

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