EDDIE Howe admitted he had to take “accountability” for Cherries’ below-par performances in recent weeks – but believed “gentle reminders” of the side’s qualities could see a return to their finest football.

Cherries slipped to disappointing defeats against Leicester and Burnley in their past two Premier League fixtures.

After last week’s 3-1 reverse against the Clarets, the Cherries boss suggested “I have to take the blame myself”.

And Howe reaffirmed the importance of looking at himself for possible answers in the first instance.

Speaking ahead of Cherries’ game at Brighton today (3pm), Howe said: “Whenever the team doesn’t perform at its best and dips below any kind of standards we would expect, I am always the first to look at myself, not anybody else.

“You have to take accountability as the leader and place it upon you.

“Then, of course, you look down and you try and figure out why and then you look at whoever that may be, whether it is the players, staff, et cetera, et cetera.

“First and foremost, if you don’t take accountability yourself then you risk missing the answers.”

On suggestions players have to take responsibility once they are on the pitch, Howe said: “Yes, but I don’t think you can have that mindset.

“For me, when we step on the line or we play a game, we are entering that competitive battle together. As staff, as players, we are absolutely as one.

“We share in all our successes and failures together.”

Cherries travel to the Amex looking to improve their record of one win in Brighton since 1988-1989.

Howe last weekend acknowledged in Cherries’ recent defeats he had not seen the “clear philosophy” the side aspire to deliver.

Discussing how the team could restore its identity, Howe said: “I don’t think it is a case of we have drastically lost it, it is just a case in the past two games, if I was watching the team as a neutral or as someone who knows about Bournemouth, I would have been a little bit disappointed with what I have seen.

“It is a case of – sometimes you have to do this – reminding everybody, reminding ourselves of what we are good at and what we represent and what has brought us success historically and then try and deliver that – no major changes, just gentle reminders.”

Quizzed on what the identity meant to him, Howe said: “It is a combination of a few things but it is small percentages.

“It is everything from mindset to running to passing the ball freely, everything you would define with a really good Bournemouth performance historically over the past few seasons and we have been a little bit short of in the past two games.

“It is a case of trying to understand that and then deliver what we know we are truly capable of.”