Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes his side have improved since the start of the season regardless of the 2-0 loss to leaders Arsenal.
The defeat was their first in six games, a run which has seen the Cherries beat Chelsea and Manchester United, and secure a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Everton.
Bournemouth sit just three points clear of the drop zone, but Howe is confident they can propel themselves up the table if they can continue their current rate of improvement.
“I think there have been many [lessons learned], and I think the team has adapted and grown,” he told reporters.
“I feel we’re a stronger side than when we started the season so I think if we can continued our improvement in the second half of the season then I think we’ll become a very good team.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve surprised ourselves because we’ve had that belief that we could become a very good team.
“There’s still some way to go, we continue to work and strive to become the best we possibly can but there’s certainly some very good signs, even today in defeat four or five players come out with real credit.”
On the game itself, Howe was happy that Bournemouth initially posed a threat to the Gunners, but bemoaned his side’s finishing after creating a number of promising counter attacks.
“We tried to be our normal selves and take the game to Arsenal and I felt, certainly for the early parts of the first half, it was really working and we were on top,” added Howe.
“We had numerous counter-attack opportunities that we didn’t make the most of. The first goal has really changed the flow of the game and from that point until half-time I think we were under pressure a little bit.
“We didn’t deal with conceding the goal very well but second half we put on a renewed show and but for the second goal I think it would have been a very tight ending.”