MANAGER Eddie Howe described as “painful” Cherries’ relegation dogfight – but insisted he was using the emotion to steer the club to safety.

The Dorset outfit, who host Newcastle tomorrow (6pm), are currently inside the bottom three on goal difference below 17th-placed West Ham.

Quizzed on whether the situation had an impact on his sleep and decision-making, the 42-year-old replied: “My sleep is very good. It has to be because your brain has to be very sharp.

“You have to keep yourself in really good physical condition.

“I am very well. I am hurting from this situation. I’m not going to lie, it’s painful, it’s consuming me.

“But I’m using all those emotions to help direct the team in the way we need to go. There’s no part of me that’s feeling sorry for myself.

“It’s a motivated, fully energised, fully focused manager that the players are getting, to get results and achieve our objectives.”

Assessing the picture at the bottom of the table, Howe said: “It’s very tight. It’s difficult to comment on the situation, in the respect that it’s just words.

“We have to act. We have to take control of our situation, of our destiny and get results.

“We can’t rely on other teams, we can’t look at other fixtures. That’s all a waste of energy and a waste of time.

“We just have to play the game, enjoy the challenge and enjoy the position we are in – as bizarre as that sounds - and see it as a real opportunity to let everybody know we are still determined to be in this division next season.”