BOSS Eddie Howe urged Cherries not to feel sorry for themselves over the squad’s current injury crisis and insisted: “We have to be very positive and find a way back.”

The Dorset club, currently on their biggest losing streak of five games since promotion to the Premier League, are at present without nine first-team players due to injury.

But Howe is backing those who are tasked with filling the void of key figures to embrace the challenge.

He told the Daily Echo: “The one emotion we can’t have is to feel sorry for ourselves. To moan and whine about the situation – that is of no use whatsoever.

“We have to be very positive and find a way back.

“The injuries are an opportunity for other people, other players to step up and say that they are good enough.

“You are looking for people to, I wouldn’t say surprise you, but to grow into the shoes the players have left.

“They have to grow from this experience and then the squad will be a lot stronger when we get everybody back fit again.”

Asked whether he felt those that were currently fit had the character to do what was necessary, the boss replied: “I look at them and they do have the character.

“The biggest thing isn’t so much the character, it’s the confidence and the belief in each other.

“Individually they will all think they are good enough but collectively they have all got to have the same thoughts.” Cherries have lost three defenders in the space of as many games after Steve Cook, Adam Smith and Nathan Ake all picked up injuries in fixtures against Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Liverpool respectively.

The absences meant Jack Simpson was handed his first taste of Premier League action this season, against the Reds on Saturday.

He could be involved once again when Cherries make the trip to Chelsea at the weekend.

Asked about academy graduate Simpson, Howe replied: “It’s a great experience for him, a great challenge for him.

“On Saturday he was thrown right at the deep end against Liverpool.

“He grew into the game for me and got better as it went on. He hasn’t had a great deal of football – has had an injury himself.

“It was a learning environment for him on Saturday but he came through with credit, kept going and didn’t quit the difficult challenge.

“Saturday was an opportunity for him to show that he can get to Nathan’s level. It will be the same for all the other players in the different positions.”