STEVE Cook shouldered his share of the blame for Cherries’ defeat by Southampton and admitted their below-par showing had been “nowhere near good enough”.

Cook was at fault for the winning goal when he lost possession to Dušan Tadić before the Serb went through to beat Asmir Begovic.

Tadić had also profited in the first half when Cherries were exposed at the back by a counter-attack after their own corner had broken down.

Cook told the Daily Echo: “It was really disappointing because I thought they were there for the taking. But we are really struggling at the moment and I think that showed.

“I didn’t think we were very good individually and collectively so it was really hard to take. All round, it was a really bad day.

“We need a win by any means necessary, otherwise we are going to be relying on other teams which isn’t a situation we thought we would be in with two games remaining.

“Maybe sub-consciously we have taken our foot off the gas individually. Something has happened because we haven’t performed well for a while now.

“Their first goal came from our set-piece and it turned out to be a three-on-one. The second one was a poor touch from me and they went through and scored. Something needs to change. We are not helping out each other on the pitch and are getting punished for it.”

Defeat left Cherries six points clear of the relegation zone and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic said they were desperate to secure their top-flight status as soon as possible.

"It was a difficult one to take," said Begovic. "It was a derby and it meant a lot to us and the fans. We were punished for our mistakes.

"We weren’t pleased with how we played and need to work hard to fix it and put it right in our last two games.

"When you are in the position we in, sometimes, you can feel a bit comfortable. I don’t know if that’s the case but we have to pick up points and make sure we get over the line as soon as possible.

"We haven’t done the right things enough. We need to improve. We have two games to try to put it right, especially the last home game.

"We need to put in a performance for ourselves, the fans and everyone and, hopefully, finish the season in the right way."