BOSS Eddie Howe admitted he had been hurt by a lack of “clear philosophy” in Cherries’ recent poor Premier League run.

Howe’s men delivered an insipid performance as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Burnley at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, meaning they have one win in nine top-flight clashes.

Cherries took an early lead through Ashley Barnes’s own goal before efforts from Chris Wood, Ashley Westwood and Barnes kept the Dorset club on 38 points and 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

After a blistering start to the season with 20 points from 10 matches, Cherries have taken 18 points from their past 23 fixtures.

Asked if his side’s recent form threatened to take the gloss off their season, Howe said: “Absolutely. The big thing from my perspective as manager of the team is you are looking week in week out to see a clear identity, to see a clear way of playing, knowing you are improving that style of play every week.

“The disappointing thing for us in recent weeks is we have not quite seen the clear philosophy we want and that hurts me more than anything.

“We are going to have to go away and figure out why we are not seeing that and work towards delivering a better product.

Howe added: “Very few times have I felt in my management career that I have a looked at a team and not quite seen what we have worked on. We are just going through one of those phases at the moment where it is not quite coming off for us.

“We look a bit disjointed. The only way to put that right is hard work on the training ground, so that is what we are going to have to do.”

Defensive errors played a part in all three Burnley goals in a difficult afternoon for Cherries.

And while he refused to single out individuals for mistakes, Howe insisted players had to continually prove themselves.

“You have to prove your worth every game, every training session, every moment,” said Howe. “You are part of a team at this level and you have to continually prove you are good enough to play in it.

“Now, obviously I pick the team and I have not picked a good enough team at the moment. We are going to have to review everything we do.”

Howe added: “Any mistake you make invariably at this level gets punished – that is the quality of teams you are up against.

“We have made some mistakes but it is about the collective and I would back any player who has made a mistake. Ultimately, as head of the team, I have to take the blame myself.”

Asked if he saw signs of a poor performance coming in training, Howe said: “No, I would be very honest if I felt that I had. Last week had probably been the best week’s training we had in a while.

“I was really pleased and I felt we were going to deliver a good performance.

“It hasn’t happened in elements of the game. There were some good bits in it and that should not be forgotten. We created some good chances in the game but it was not frequent enough.”