CHRIS Mepham said Cherries could not afford to “dwell on the past” as they look to maintain their future as a Premier League club.

The defender is expected to keep his place in Eddie Howe’s side for tomorrow’s crucial showdown against West Ham at London Stadium (5.30pm).

Cherries could find themselves in the bottom three following the contest, should they not seal victory against the Irons.

And, despite injuries continuing to ravage the Dorset club, Mepham called for the visitors to “step up as a team.”

He told the Daily Echo: “Each game we go into is more important to get a win.

“We are at the halfway point of the season and we have not picked up anywhere near as many points as we’d have hoped.

“But it’s important now for the second half of the season to put that first half behind us. Hopefully with some players coming back, we can bring in some freshness and have a better second half to the campaign.

“As a player, you always want to be threatening the top half of the table, not the bottom half.

“But I know how much quality we’ve got in the team and we are more than capable of turning it around. It starts with West Ham, that’s all we can focus on.

“We can’t dwell on the past. We need to stay positive and hopefully start getting some good results.”

Mepham has featured in the Dorset club’s past six league encounters, with injuries sustained by regular centre-back pairing Steve Cook and Nathan Ake.

The visitors could also go into the contest without a recognised right-back.

Adam Smith is ruled out with an ankle injury, while Simon Francis and Jack Stacey are nursing respective knee and hamstring issues.

“We haven’t got a lot going our way at the minute,” said former Brentford man Mepham.

“The manager can only put out what he’s got and he’s sort of running out of options. The team is picking itself, which is difficult.

“We’ve got a lot of injuries, people carrying little knocks and niggles but we’ve all got to be counted for and when the going gets tough.

“We’d always have players coming in and giving 100 per cent. You look at Simmo (Jack Simpson) last week, he wasn’t used to playing there (at left-back) and produced a really good performance.

“We’ve got players that can play out of position and always give 100 per cent.”

He added: “I think it’s a really good test for me now to stand up and be counted for.

“You’ve got Nath injured, you had Cookie injured. The past couple of weeks and we’ve had some really big characters out of the team.

“We’ve got to stand up together and change this run of games.”