SATURDAY’S trip to Liverpool saw Cherries condemned to an eighth straight away loss in the league for the first time in 35 years.

The factual accuracy of the numbers is not in doubt and yet, at the same time, the sentence obscures all sorts of relevant truths.

How many times since 1984, for example, have Cherries travelled to play four of the best sides in the land in quick succession?

Away days at Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United have been incorporated in the eight-game spell – fixtures which few could reasonably have expected Eddie Howe’s side to win.

Wolves at Molineux and Everton at Goodison Park are hardly gimmes, either. The losses at Cardiff and Newcastle are the only results which really sting.

The overall statistic, admittedly, is not one which any player would rush to splash all over their CV.

But like so many things in football, it is ephemeral and will soon be forgotten.

Cherries have survival at their fingertips and, assuming they achieve it, not winning away from home for a few months will seem of little relevance.

In any case, a failure to avoid defeat at Liverpool can hardly go down as a season-defining result.

Bearing in mind that the Reds had not lost at Anfield in 33 Premier League games prior to Cherries’ visit, missing out on a point or three constituted more of a par than a bogey.

And with Howe’s injury problems mounting for the clash on Merseyside, the mitigating circumstances column was presenting a compelling argument.

On the pitch, Cherries were outclassed by a Reds side which controlled possession, created chances and, generally speaking, played the kind of football which is a joy to behold.

Fair enough. More relevant tests await Cherries this month and next – Wolves at home, Huddersfield away, Newcastle at home, Leicester away.

Those will sort out the kind of season this is going to be.