EDDIE Howe revealed how defender Jack Stacey “had no choice” other than to come off through injury and leave Cherries with 10 men against Brighton.

The full-back was withdrawn from the contest with 10 minutes remaining after sustaining a hamstring problem.

Despite valiantly attempting to play on, Stacey was forced off after the Dorset club had made all three of their substitutions – leaving them a man light in the 2-0 reverse.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “Jack wasn’t getting better, so he risked probably pulling that muscle and putting himself out long term.

“We had no choice (to take him off), otherwise he risked being out for a long, long time, doing himself further damage.”

Cherries had previously lost Joshua King to another hamstring issue. He was replaced by Lewis Cook after 73 minutes at the Amex Stadium.

“Josh felt something,” said Howe.

“He is very aware of his hamstrings from previous injuries, so whether that’s a pull or just precautionary I’m not sure.

“You are going to get these things with two games in three days. It’s the last thing we need with the other injuries we have.”

The boss added: “We made five changes to try to have some freshness in the team. At this time of year, it’s absolutely vital.

“We have people we were worried about today if they played again, would they pick up injuries? We have picked up injuries anyway so you are just trying to predict the future in some ways, trying to stay away from further problems.”