MANAGER Eddie Howe reiterated Cherries were “still in a relegation battle” following their 4-1 humbling at Huddersfield.

Defeat in west Yorkshire – coupled with results elsewhere during an eventful weekend – left Cherries five points above the drop zone in 10th place.

Wins for Swansea, West Ham and Newcastle saw them close the gap on Cherries, while Everton leapfrogged Howe’s team thanks to their victory over Crystal Palace.

Cherries, who host Rafa Benitez's Toon Army in their next game on Saturday week, have taken 31 points from their 27 matches.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “For me, we are still in a relegation battle. We know we always have been this season.

“There are many clubs involved, it’s very tight and results like this don’t help us, especially when you are playing teams in and around you.

“It’s very important you don’t lose but we didn’t produce a good performance at all.

“Of course, we have other games to come and are in a good position, but it can change very quickly and what we have to guard against is any negative reaction from this game.

“Every game gets bigger and bigger and the games will count down very quickly. That is why you need to maximise every single one.

“We know how big the games are and will be ready for the last 11.”

With a break until they host Newcastle, Howe looks likely to take his players away from their regular training environment, with Portugal a possible destination.

“We are going to work the players hard, as we always do,” he added.

“We may have a couple of days away where we take them training in a different environment but it will be very much focusing on the Newcastle match.”