EDDIE Howe admitted Cherries had twice shot themselves in the foot at Brighton but revealed his pride at his players’ battling qualities.

Cherries conceded early in both halves but twice levelled through Steve Cook and Callum Wilson, ensuring they began 2018 with a valuable point.

Boss Howe said: “I was happy with how we fought back. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded, not just the timing of them but the manner of them.

“We really did shoot ourselves in the foot. When you come away from home and concede so early in both halves, it makes it difficult.

“I was very pleased with the response because it is not easy to chase the game the way we did, with the quality we had. That was the impressive thing.

“Our second goal wasn’t one for the purists but we’ll take that. All great strikers are in the right place at the right time and Callum was.”

The contest was played out on a heavy pitch and Howe said that had contributed towards Cherries’ failure to hit their best levels throughout.

Asked whether conditions had impacted negatively on his side’s performance, Howe said: “I don’t want to use that as an excuse – there were a number of elements to it.

“The pitch, the fatigue of the players physically and mentally and that meant maybe there was a lack of quality from our side in terms of what we usually deliver.

“The grass was a little long. My main concern was the pitch was very soft and when you have tired players playing on a soft pitch, it’s incredibly difficult to run as you want to.

“There has been a lot of rain here. It is what it is. It’s the same for both sets of players but it did make for a lack of quality, especially towards the end of the game where both teams were tiring.”

Howe revealed Ryan Fraser and Joshua King would have scans on hamstring injuries in the next few days.

He said: “Joshua hasn’t had a scan as yet, so he will have that early in the week.

“Wee Man, the same. But we don’t think his is a long-term problem as Joshua’s may be because we are hoping we have nipped it in the bud.

“Before we risked a long injury, we pulled him out.”

Club record signing Nathan Ake was considered fit enough for the bench, the Dutch international entering the fray in the second half.

Howe added: “Nathan had hamstring and groin problems which we didn’t want to take a risk with by starting him.

“I didn’t want to bring him off the bench but it’s needs must when you are chasing the game. We felt we wanted to tweak things so we called on him.”