RETURNING Nathan Ake admitted Cherries’ lowly Premier League position is a “test of character for everyone”.

The Dutch defender returned to the starting XI at left-back for his side’s lacklustre 3-0 home defeat to Watford today.

The setback left the Dorset club 19th in the table, two points from safety having taken just four points from 11 league games.

Ake told afcbTV: “I think this situation now is a test of character for everyone.

“But we know we are going to give 100 per cent. We spoke about it in the changing room.

“This week everyone will be on it – we clear our heads and go again.”

Asked what went wrong against the Hornets, the 24-year-old replied: “It’s hard to say.

“I think we started okay, we tried to keep the ball and the first 15 minutes was quite scrappy but everyone was fighting and it was one of those games.

“We were bang in the game trying to create stuff. I think we had a few shots, corners and it was okay.

“But after the 1-0, the confidence went a little bit, you could see that. I think second half we we tried but, after the second one, the confidence was gone.

“You try to be positive, everyone wanted to be positive. We know we have to be positive.

“But I think maybe that one per cent in you gets affected by it and it shouldn’t be. We have to make sure we keep that confidence into next week for sure.”

Asked how to build that confidence heading into a crucial basement battle at rock-bottom Norwich on Saturday (3pm), Ake said: “It’s hard, I think we need to reflect.

“We need to watch the game back, see what happened and then it’s a new week.

“Obviously it’s a cliché, you say that every time - it’s a new game and stuff like that – but that is the reality.

“Next week is a big one again. We have to work hard and try to win that one.”