EDDIE Howe admitted Cherries were missing the “unique attributes” of sidelined stars but said there was no choice but to carry on with the cards dealt.

Cherries were severely depleted for Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Liverpool, the loss to injury of Junior Stanislas the day before increasing Howe’s woes.

The boss had last week reported that top scorer Callum Wilson and Welsh sensation David Brooks were still around a month away from fitness.

And they remain on an injury list also occupied by long-term absentees Lewis Cook and Simon Francis, who have been out since December.

Cherries named an inexperienced bench for the loss at Anfield, with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic the only player over 23 years old.

Loan ace Nathaniel Clyne was ineligible to feature against his parent club, while Charlie Daniels was absent due to family reasons.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “You are always going to miss your best players and we are no different.

“If you look at the list of players we were missing for the Liverpool game, a lot of people will forget Lewis Cook and Simon Francis.

"Then there's Callum Wilson, David Brooks, Junior Stanislas, Nathaniel Clyne and Charlie Daniels – that’s almost a team.

“It’s very difficult to accommodate that but that’s what we have to do, there’s no alternative.

“If you take that number of players out of any team in the Premier League, you would notice the difference.

“That’s not a criticism of the players we have who are giving their all for the club now, it’s just that those players have unique attributes which make the team better.

“But the players who played on Saturday and the ones who came on as substitutes gave everything.”

Cherries have a blank weekend coming up and are not due to return to action until they face Wolves at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, February 23.

Put to him that the break could be beneficial on the injury front, Howe said: “We will have Nathaniel Clyne back and, hopefully, we will have Charlie Daniels back.

“The others, I’m not sure. I can’t sit here and say there will be anyone else returning.

“I don’t want to make too much of it but we are stretched at the moment.

“That said, I had no doubts about the quality of the XI which I put out against Liverpool.

“The starting XI was a strong team but Liverpool were in a good moment and the crowd were excellent for them.

“We possibly played them at a bad time.”

Liverpool took the lead through Sadio Mane’s header despite the Senegal international appearing offside.

And classy finishes from Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah completed a comfortable victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.