BOSS Eddie Howe admitted Steve Cook’s assessment of Cherries’ defeat to Newcastle was not “helpful” and added: “I don’t think it’s healthy to view ourselves or read ourselves in that way.”

In a post-match interview with BBC Radio Solent, Cook described as “embarrassing” the 4-1 thumping and said: “We are men in the dressing room but played like kids.”

Asked what he made of the comments from the club’s record top-flight appearance-maker, Howe said: “Listen, I don’t think they are helpful for us.

“I think when you don’t perform well, everything needs to be internal. That’s always how I’ve worked. We keep things in house and our opinions of ourselves stay that way.

“Now I have a duty when I come to the media to tell the truth in the respect of what I think of our performances.

“But I don’t think it’s healthy to view ourselves or read ourselves in that way.

“I think for the collective good of the group and the club, we know recent performances haven’t been good enough. I don’t think you need to be too clever to work that out.

“But certainly staying together, staying unified and staying positive with each other vocally is hugely important.

“Nothing can change the past. We can only change the future and the only way we are going to do that is to stay with each other.”

Cherries have taken just one point from their past seven Premier League games and inside are inside the bottom three with six fixtures remaining.

The Dorset club face a trip to Manchester United tomorrow (3pm).