Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe praised his side’s resilience as they held on to claim a 2-1 win over Stoke at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
The Cherries had dropped into the relegation zone after a poor start to the Premier League season, which saw them pick up just one victory from their opening eight matches.
Early goals from Andrew Surman (16′) and Junior Stanislas (18′) gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break, before Mame Biram Diouf halved the deficit midway through the second half.
But Howe was pleased with the tenacity displayed by his players to see out what was only their second win of the campaign, and the first on their travels, to edge within a point of safety.
“It was a massive, massive game today especially with Chelsea to come next week,” he said. “We knew the importance of not becoming detached from the teams above us so that was a really gritty performance, especially in the second half.
“It was contrasting halves from us really as in the first half we moved the ball really well, some of our attacking play was really incisive and we looked like we could score goals and we got the two.
“But you did fear with the weather conditions that the second half would be a different game and it was but thankfully we showed our resilient side and managed to see the game out.
“At this level of football you can’t give yourself too much to do and with each game going by that you don’t win the task becomes tougher so we were well aware that we need to win quickly and this is a tough place to come so it’s a special win for us.”