FORMER Cherries midfielder Wade Elliott believes boss Eddie Howe has been “excellent” in dealing with the club’s difficult campaign.

Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United was the Dorset outfit’s 14th league loss of the season.

They are just two points clear of the relegation zone, with three of the four sides below them holding a game in hand.

Ex-Bashley man Elliott, who played alongside Howe at Dean Court as well as being managed by him at Burnley, insists the manager will be “hurting” with his side’s struggles.

Speaking to Love Sport Radio, Elliott said: "I think he's been excellent if I'm being really honest.

"He is the public face of the football club. The tone that the man just sets is the tone everyone at the football club falls in line with.

"I've got to say I don't think he's ever been too high or too low despite how much he cares about the club. I know personally the hours and the effort that he puts in.

"The struggles they're having this season will be hurting Eddie more than anybody.

"Bearing all that in mind, I think he's fronted it out really well in public."