HONEST Steve Cook admitted Cherries did not play as a team against Crystal Palace and acknowledged the first-half performance had been “embarrassing”.

Stand-in skipper Cook insisted improvements had to be made next season after the Dorset club shipped five goals on the final day of the Premier League season.

Jack Simpson’s unfortunate own goal added to Michy Batshuayi’s brace to give Roy Hodgson’s men a 3-0 advantage before Jefferson Lerma’s thunderous effort reduced the lead just before half-time.

In the second half, Jordon Ibe netted for the Dorset club, however, Netherlands international Patrick van Aanholt added the Eagles’ fourth.

Joshua King pegged Palace back again before Andros Townsend scored the final goal of the clash.

Reflecting on the performance, centre-back Cook told the Daily Echo: “It was embarrassing first half. We defended as individuals and, obviously, that showed. It sums up our season really.

“A clean sheet and a great win against Tottenham to losing 5-3. It is something that has to get sorted and sorted quickly because defensively we were shocking.”

The five goals allowed at Selhurst Park took to 70 Cherries’ Premier League conceded tally in 2018-19, eight days after a resolute display kept Spurs at bay.

Quizzed on if he could identify reasons for the varied defensive displays in Cherries last two games of the campaign, Cook said: “I don’t know, mindset must be (an issue).

“It was very disappointing individually. We did not look like a team, no one covered anyone, no one bailed anyone out. It was a polar opposite to last week.”

The Hastings-born star added: “We showed good fight and we looked good going forward and then very naive defending counter attacks – diving in, committing ourselves and conceding poor goals.

“For the neutral it was a good game but as a defender and us as a team it was really disappointing.”