EDDIE Howe insists Cherries "have to change something" after dropping into the Premier League relegation zone, adding: "I almost think that’s a good thing for us because that's going to refocus energies and mindsets".

Injury-hit Cherries slumped to a 4-0 loss at West Ham today, an eighth loss in 10 matches, as the Hammers leapfrogged their opponents in the table.

Withdrawals of Jack Stacey and Joshua King due to hamstring injuries saw them join David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly, Adam Smith, Arnaut Danjuma, Charlie Daniels and Nathan Ake on the sidelines for the trip to London Stadium.

Asked if this was the toughest time he's faced as Cherries boss, Howe said: "Probably in terms of consistent results, yes. It’s been a really difficult run.

"We’ve been knocked quite a lot this season. It’s been very difficult for everyone connected with the club.

"With the amount of injuries that we’ve had, with the run of results we’ve had and we keep getting hit. Losing two players in the build-up to this game, incredibly difficult.

"There were players today playing who were not 100 per cent fit either so that’s not to make excuses and to try and shy away from what we’ve delivered, because it hasn’t been good enough. I thought the players gave everything today but we weren’t in the best physical condition to play."

He added: "I think the difference probably from this to previous years is the amount of injuries that we’ve had.

"The lightness of the squad, I’ve never had a smaller group of players to pick from.

"Even some of those players, if you look aren’t 100 per cent fit. Steve Cook, Junior Stanislas, Diego Rico, Simon Francis, Jefferson Lerma are all coming into the game on the back of injuries and haven’t trained. I don’t think we were in the best physical condition today.

"You could see players weren’t quite where they needed to be and at this level, the level is so high that you get found out.

"I praise those players for playing when they’re not right, because we’ve asked them to. We need them to. But that’s how big a problem we’ve had physically.

"I think this mini break, we’ve got a little gap until our next Premier League game, will be important for us to regroup, to refocus.

"It’s the first time we’ve been in the relegation zone for a long time in our Premier League life, so I almost think that’s a good thing for us because that’s going to refocus energies and mindsets because we have to change something.

"Hopefully that’s the change that we need and then we unite as a club and then we achieve our objectives together."