HARRY Arter, the AFC Bournemouth midfielder, has described his team’s shock defeat by Preston North End as a “wake-up call.”
And, in a frank assessment of last weekend’s performance at Deepdale, Arter admitted the visitors had paid the price for failing to match their opponent’s commitment.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s key League One encounter with Sheffield United, Arter said: “We have got to try to treat it as a wake-up call.
“The feeling we had in the changing room was not a feeling we want any more.
“We remember at the start of the season how we felt after consecutive losses. That is one thing, as a group, we never want to get back to.
“As much as we were very poor, Preston played really well and you need to give them credit where it is due.
“It sounds bad to say but they out-fought us and out-ran us and that was it. It looked like they wanted it more and we can’t let that happen again.”
Bournemouth, beaten for only the third time since Eddie Howe’s return to Goldsands Stadium, had won five straight games en route to Lancashire.
North End, who parted company with manager Graham Westley in midweek, entered the match having lost six and drawn one of their previous seven.
Arter added: “Personally, I felt it was my worst performance under the gaffer. As a team, I would say it was probably our worst performance as well.
“It is a disappointing time but we can’t get away from how well we have done lately. We won’t lose sight of that.
“In football, you are always going to lose the odd game and the sign of a good team is not letting that turn into two or three losses on the bounce.”