STEVE Cook is convinced Cherries can play their way out of trouble and insists they will stick to their footballing principles.

Cherries host Everton on Saturday bidding to avoid extending their winless run in the Premier League to nine games, their worst since they won promotion.

Eddie Howe’s team have picked up four points from their past eight matches – losing against four of the current top seven and drawing with four of the current bottom seven.

And although they have slipped into the relegation zone, just four points separate them from 12th-placed Brighton, their opponents on New Year’s Day.

As with their first two campaigns, Howe has received criticism in some quarters for his attacking style of play, particularly against the top teams.

But although they endured eight-match winless runs three times in their first two years, Howe continued to stick to his guns and led Cherries to 16th and ninth, respectively.

Cook, who was ever present last season as Cherries registered the highest league finishing position in their history, was asked whether he would prefer to see them shut up shop.

The defender replied: “No, because that has brought us success.

“If you look at Manchester City, they are flying high because they are unique, they play football and are very brave.

“They have been unbelievable this season but only because Pep Guardiola, as a manager, has stuck to his beliefs.

“He came under pressure last season and a lot of people said he could not change Manchester City but he has.

“We are in the Premier League and are where we are because of our philosophy and the bravery of how we play. If we were to go away from that, I don’t think we would have a chance.”

Since losing 2-1 at Everton in September, Cherries have won just one of their past seven home league games and have taken nine points from 10 matches at Vitality Stadium.

Cook added: “West Ham was one of the first times at home this season we had left everything out there.

“I don’t think we could have given any more and that is what we are going to need.

“Fighting alone is not going to win you games but we have a talented squad as well.

“We played West Ham off the pitch. I know the conditions were difficult in the second half but if you look at their goals, they weren’t terrific.

“You could probably say that about ours but we had a lot of the ball and that is hopefully what it is going to be for us for the rest of the season.”

“We were very energetic, our forwards pressed and created chances and that was why we were frustrated.

“We have another huge home game against Everton. We really need to start picking up wins at home, getting the crowd with us and start climbing the table.”