BOSS Eddie Howe issued a public apology to Cherries fans who had trekked to West Yorkshire in the early hours to see their team convincingly beaten 4-1 at Huddersfield.

Cherries saw their seven-game unbeaten Premier League run go up in smoke at John Smith’s Stadium.

Goals from Steve Mounie and Alex Pritchard, a Rajiv van La Parra penalty and an own goal from Steve Cook condemned them to their first league defeat of 2018.

More than 1,200 away fans had made the trip, some of whom caught coaches as early as 1.45am from Weymouth for the midday kick-off.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “I apologise to them for the performance. There is not much else I can say.

“When you are aware of the sacrifices people make financially, with their time and all the other aspects which go into it, you want to reward them with an inspiring performance – one they can go away and talk about for many years. I don’t think that will be happening.

“The time and money involved in that is extreme and their loyal support was, unfortunately, rewarded with a poor performance.

“That really does hurt for them and, ultimately, it hurts us.”

Cherries had levelled at 1-1 on 13 minutes through a neat move which saw Junior Stanislas stroke home a cross from Ryan Fraser.

But other than that slick piece of attacking play, Howe admitted he had failed to find too many other plus-points.

“From our perspective, we were below par and disappointing. We lost too many 50-50s, too many duels and it became a frustrating afternoon for us,” he added.

“The only real highlight for us was the goal which was a well-worked move. Apart from that, I was struggling to find too many positives.

“Every time the ball dropped loose in midfield, it dropped to one of their players and that cannot happen. Something was clearly wrong.

“I have to compliment Huddersfield, I thought they played very well. I knew they would have wanted to get the home crowd involved very early in the game.

“Unfortunately for us, we allowed that to happen by conceding. Then, we fought back very well but, after that, we just faded away in terms of our performance.

“I think it affected our players and, usually, we are so composed on the ball and a very good team from defensive situations, to build attacking situations.

“We had no control and you have to compliment Huddersfield for that but be very critical of my team.

“We know we didn't see our true selves deliver and that was frustrating.”

Defeat left Cherries 10th in the table having dropped a place after Everton’s 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Howe revealed his squad may venture off for some training away from their normal environment before Cherries host Newcastle a week on Saturday.