BOSS Eddie Howe insisted Premier League games were “feelingless” without the crowd in attendance and said it was “damaging” to his side.

Top-flight fixtures are set to take place behind closed doors from now until the end of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Howe’s troops have lost all three of their games since the division was restarted, including Wednesday’s 4-1 home thumping at the hands of Newcastle.

The boss said: “My emotional energy I don’t think is in doubt day-to-day. The problem is the games themselves are, not emotionless, but they are feelingless without the crowd.

“I think that’s damaging us greatly at the moment.

“I think if we had conceded the early goal (against Newcastle), the response from the crowd would have helped us. I don’t think there was any way that game would have ended up with the score line that it was.

“But in a feelingless game, when we know how much is at stake, it’s very difficult for the players to adjust to that.

“Certainly, we haven’t adjusted well enough to that – that’s probably been our biggest failing so far.

“The games and the feeling of the games is certainly something that’s damaged us.”

Newcastle ran riot at Vitality Stadium thanks to goals from Dwight Gayle, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Valentino Lazaro.

Dan Gosling netted a consolation late on for the hosts.

“A really disappointing night,” said Howe.

“We never recovered from the earlier goal and I think the manner of it as well, it was a tough one for us to take in a game where we knew the onus was going to be on us to make the running.

“Newcastle counter-attacked very well, we still felt we were in the game.

“In the second half we started brightly and we just couldn’t get that goal back to make it a more interesting second half.”