Parker: Dominic Solanke achieves his best performance of the season

BOSS Scott Parker believes Dominic Solanke produced one of his best performances of the season as he helped Cherries back into the top two of the Championship.

Solanke fired home in the first half as Parker’s men beat Birmingham City 3-1 at Vitality Stadium.

The striker has been in fine form all season but had just suffered a four-game mini goalless drought, his longest spell of the campaign without scoring.

But he quickly put that spell behind him, shooting keeper Neil Etheridge and into the bottom corner to reach the 20-goal mark, in his 31st appearance of the campaign.

The match against the Blues saw Todd Cantwell line up on his first start for the club, assisting in attack with the likes of Philip Billing, Jaidon Anthony and Ryan Christie also operating behind Solanke.

The sluggish first-half display came just three days after a dismal performance in the FA Cup loss to Boreham Wood.

When asked what he thought of the new suit going forward, Parker said: “I liked that it was fair. I thought we looked more menacing, we looked more creative.

“I thought attacking players, Dominic Solanke, I would probably put him up there for the best I’ve seen him this season.

“His heist game was magnificent in the first half. A defender until he was, he must have been like a good nine.

“Then he also had to be the one who could stretch the line. He seemed a constant threat to us.

“He scored his goal, which was worth it, it was a great finish. I was really happy with the forwards.”

For Solanke, reaching 20 in senior football for the first time in his career at the age of 24 was a big step.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea leader told the Daily Echo: “Really happy. To get my 20th meant a lot to me. It was a good one.

“I just want to keep scoring as many goals as possible until the end of the season.”

In a separate interview with afcbTV, Solanke added: “It’s amazing. Obviously winning also made it that much more special.

“I’m thrilled to get my 20th.

“We all know the quality of Ryan and when he got the ball I just made eye contact with him.

“I know he’s always looking to get the ball through and that was a great pass and a great finish.”

The Cherries overtook Blackburn Rovers to move up to second in the league.

They are two points ahead of the Lancashire team, with two games less.

League leaders Fulham are six points ahead of Cherries, having played the same number of games as Parker’s men.

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