EDDIE Howe called for level heads at Cherries after insisting a run of four straight Premier League defeats had been “really harsh”.

A 3-1 reverse at leaders Manchester City on Saturday saw the Dorset club condemned to their worst run of form in the top flight since the beginning of last season.

Cherries had suffered 2-1 losses to Manchester United, Newcastle and Arsenal prior to succumbing at Etihad Stadium despite a spirited display.

And boss Howe, who pits his team against Huddersfield Town on Tuesday, said supporters had a valuable role to play in getting the team back on track.

He told the Daily Echo: “It is really harsh on the players. When you look at the Manchester United game, people were telling me it was arguably the best we had played in the Premier League era.

“Against Newcastle, we dipped below those standards. The Arsenal game was very close and again, we were pleased with vast parts of it, and the same against Manchester City.

“It’s very important I and everyone at the club keep a level head.

“You know when you go into a Premier League campaign, there will be moments where results aren’t going to go the way you want them to.

“We’ve had it in every season. The good thing for us is it has not come at the start like it did last season, which made it all the more difficult.

“We have some good points under our belt. But this is where we really need the people outside the team to be hugely supportive and that’s what I will be emphasising this week.

“We want the supporters right behind the team because we need them.”

Bernardo Silva gave City a 16th-minute lead but Callum Wilson nodded Cherries level of stroke of half-time.

However, efforts from Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan after the break extended to 20 games City’s unbeaten league run.

Discussing City’s collective talent, Howe said: “They are the benchmark in terms of a lot of things – the technical quality they have, the ease with which they build attacks and their superb attitude when they don’t have the ball. That’s what makes them so hard to play against.

“We felt we were well in the game. A lot of teams have conceded early here but we were determined to give ourselves a way to stay in the game without being too withdrawn into our shell.

“We got the balance better as the first half went on. We grew in confidence and scored a great goal.

“In the second half, City were on top in terms of possession but I don’t think they opened us up and that was where the goals really hurt us, because they didn’t look as if they were going to come. But of course they did and that changed the game.

“I’m hugely disappointed to lose – I always am. But with so many games to come in a short period of time, I don’t think it’s wise to dwell on it.

“It’s very important we focus on Huddersfield.”