BOSS Eddie Howe felt Cherries had shown “glimpses of our best” during the second-half of their crucial 1-0 win over Premier League rivals Newcastle.

Steve Cook’s injury-time goal sunk the Toon Army at St James’s Park as victory saw Cherries clamber out of the relegation zone for the first time since the end of August.

Cook powered home a header from an Andrew Surman corner to settle in Cherries’ favour an enthralling contest which was laden with goalscoring chances.

Top-drawer saves from Asmir Begovic kept out strikes from former Cherries pair Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu during a first half the hosts had the better of.

However, it was a different story after the break with Callum Wilson and Marc Pugh both seeing glorious opportunities go begging before Cook came up trumps.

Asked whether being in the bottom three had been weighing on his mind, Howe said: “It was more the fact we hadn’t been getting the points we wanted and winning the games we are used to, even in this league which is incredibly difficult to do.

“Performances haven’t always been what we had wanted this season so that has been weighing on my mind more than being in the bottom three. I believe it is still early enough to chance your fortunes.

“To do that, performances and everything that go into them had to improve and I think they have and we have turned in better performances.

“I don’t think we have been at our absolute best but I thought we saw glimpses of that in the second half against Newcastle and that was us returning to our best rhythm.”

Howe added: “It was a very difficult game for us. Newcastle were good in the first half and they really put us under pressure.

“But we grew into the game and finished the first half strongly. The second half was much better and I thought we deserved the win.

“When you miss a couple of good chances, the temptation is to think ‘here we go again’. But credit to the players because they didn’t feel that way and we kept knocking on the door.

“As the away team, sometimes it is difficult to do that very late in the game. It is easy to sit back and just absorb pressure but we didn’t.

“Scoring from a set-piece is a very satisfying way to win. We have been on the receiving end of some late goals this season so it was great to do the opposite.

“Moving out of the bottom three is big psychologically for everyone connected with the club. It is rammed down your throat in the media to a degree so to lift ourselves out of this position temporarily is a good feeling.

“Now, we have to try to build on it. It is all about the next game and, hopefully, this win can be a key turning point in our season.”