PHILOSOPHICAL Eddie Howe has issued a timely reminder in the wake of a rare Cherries defeat: “Even the best teams in the world lose from time to time.”
The Cherries manager was speaking after watching his team suffer only their second reverse in 22 league matches under his charge.
Howe admitted his high-flying outfit had dipped below their usual high standards on their way to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Preston North End.
Stuart Beavon and Bailey Wright fired the managerless hosts to a deserved victory as two first-half goals settled Saturday’s contest at Deepdale.
Howe is adamant Cherries have the character to bounce back and admits every team will endure an off day.
He said: “I don’t think you can dwell on one performance. One performance never defines your season.
“This was a disappointing game for us. We have had it before and, no doubt, we will have it again.
“What you have to do is try to learn from it and make sure you put right anything you felt was an issue.
“We have certainly got the characters in the team to do that. The lads have been excellent and a joy to work with.
“On Saturday, they fell below the standards they set themselves but, in the main, I can’t be critical of them at all.
“It was probably the first time where I felt we had just not matched our intensity levels, off the ball and with the ball, that we normally hit.
“We are a team still learning and developing and even the best teams have bad days. Even the best teams in the world lose from time to time. It is just making sure you keep them to a minimum.”
Howe added: “It is two teams going at each other every week and we have no divine right to win any game.
“We are there to be shot at and teams will raise their game. You could see the reaction of the Preston people afterwards and that is the kind of reaction we get now wherever we go.
“People want to beat us and every team is motivated to perform. So, we need to make sure we do the basics right which, perhaps, we didn’t on Saturday for the first time.”
Cherries host promotion rivals Sheffield United, Coventry and Doncaster in upcoming matches.
Howe added: “It is a crucial part of the season and that is why we need everyone around Bourne-mouth to unite and support us.”