CONCERNED boss Scott Parker issued a clear message of his desire for further additions to his squad, warning: "We’re way short of where we need to be."

Cherries begin their Premier League campaign against Aston Villa at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, three months on from clinching promotion back to the top flight.

Since then, eight players who were part of the first-team squad at the end of last season have departed the club in Gary Cahill, Robbie Brady, Leif Davis, Ethan Laird, Todd Cantwell, Freddie Woodman, Nat Phillips and Gavin Kilkenny.

Just two have come through the door in Joe Rothwell and Ryan Fredericks, who are both set to miss the start of the campaign through injury.

Cherries are expected to complete a third new signing this week, in Middlesbrough midfielder Marcus Tavernier.

But Parker insists his arrival alone will not solve all their issues, as Cherries slipped to a third straight pre-season loss, going down 2-1 to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

He told the Daily Echo: "It’s clear that we are lacking in a lot of areas at this present moment in time. That’s just very clear.

"We need to work out whether we want to give ourselves a chance of being competitive this year. At the moment, that is not the case."

Parker added: "We got promoted at the start of May, we are now six days out (from the season starting).

"I’m hopeful and we need it, it’s clear. We worked tirelessly last year, the staff, the players, the fans, everyone worked tirelessly to get to where we are currently.

"Like any evolution, when you’re going up to another stratosphere of levels, everyone just needs a bit of help now. And we need to make a decision on how that may look, what we’re going to do, for us to at least be competitive really.

"I didn’t anticipate at this moment in time to be where we are, six days out from the start of the season. But that’s exactly where we are.

"I’ve been very professional, done a lot of work with the team and the players have been, as always, very forthcoming and worked tirelessly. But I think it’s clear we need to add to the squad, because the levels have changed.

"You get promoted and that’s just what needs to happen. So we’ll see."

Asked if he knows why things have been slow in terms of recruitment, Parker said: "There’s reasons, of course. I understand the pressures and where we are as a football club, I do understand that. But I’m not 100 per cent sure. I have a rough idea on certain things, of course I do. But this is where it is at the moment.

"We’re short at the moment, that’s very, very clear. We are six days out from the start of the Premier League season and we’re way short of where we need to be. That’s the cold, hard facts really. We need to do all we can to try and get some help.

"It’s obviously clear, we barely have any defenders. We’ve lost eight at the start of the season, at this present moment in time this squad is much weaker than it was when we got promoted."

He added: "It’s difficult. We need to work out what we want to be, how ambitious we want to be this year in terms of us and how competitive we want to be.

"So while the season in front of us is going to be a real challenging one, and no doubt it’s going to be a dogfight for us along with other teams that have spent a lot of money, we just need to work out whether we want to try and be competitive and that’s the most important thing here.

"At this present moment in time, I just feel we’re too light. We’re too light in where we need to be and what we need to be and I think the numbers suggest that.

"If you’re looking at the team sheet, you’re seeing what we currently have and it’s going to be a big ask really."

Asked if he feels with the addition of Tavernier this week, Cherries would be competitive for the first game of the season against Aston Villa, Parker replied: "No. Not at the moment.

"We’ve got a midfielder/wing-back maybe (in Tavernier), but I don’t know that I feel we’re competitive at this moment in time."