EMOTIONAL Eddie Howe admitted a large part of Cherries’ survival destiny slipped away from them, as they fell to a gut-wrenching 2-0 defeat to Southampton.

Goals from Danny Ings and Che Adams left the Dorset club three points from safety with just one top-flight game remaining.

Should Watford avoid defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, Cherries would be relegated from the top flight.

If the Hornets lose in midweek, Cherries must win at Everton on Sunday to have any chance of avoiding the drop on goal difference.

Speaking after the defeat, the 42-year-old said: “The key thing is while we are still in there, while there is still hope we have to believe until such a time it’s mathematically impossible.

“You never know in football. Crazy things happen, so that’s my immediate thought.

“But obviously disappointed today because a big chunk of our destiny and our future was still sort of in our hands. It feels like that slipped away a little bit.”

He added: “It was a very emotional game really in many ways.

“I think the lads gave everything to the match. I thought at times we played very well, created a number of chances but, ultimately, our finishing in the last part was just missing and the break of the ball was slightly difficult for us.

“We are disappointed with the first goal we conceded because, until that time, they hadn’t really threatened our goal.

“The second one, it’s probably a result of the VAR decision (to disallow Sam Surridge’s strike) at the end.”

Asked whether he would watch Watford’s fixture with City on Tuesday, which could decide his team’s fate, the manager replied: “I’ve got no idea. I’ve got no idea what I will do.

“I’ve just taken myself out of today’s game, I’m deeply disappointed, hurt, loads of different emotions are going through my body right now.

“I don’t know what I’m doing in an hour’s time, let alone a few days’ time."