AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was left very frustrated following his side's 4-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town on Sunday afternoon at the John Smith's Stadium.
David Wagner's side thoroughly deserved the win as the Cherries found themselves second-best for large periods of the game. Alex Pritchard had given the hosts the lead early on with his first goal for the club but Junior Stanislas quickly levelled things up. However, this was still not enough to send the away side into the break on level terms as Steve Mounie headed the hosts back in front.
The second-half was particularly poor from the Cherries as they struggled to create any clear cut chances. They were also punished further at the other end of the pitch as Mounie grabbed his second goal of the game and Rajiv van La Parra converted from the penalty spot in injury time.
Howe explained how he was finding it very difficult to take any positives from the game. He said: "I have to compliment Huddersfield, they played very well today. We were below par, we were disappointing."
He added: "The only real highlight was the goal which was a really well-worked move."
A wasted journey for the Cherries
It was well documented in the lead up to this game about how many of the 1,200 Bournemouth supporters who travelled had to get up as early as 1.30am in order to complete the 520-mile round trip for today's match. They may now be questioning why they bothered to make the effort after witnessing what was a dismal performance from their team.
Howe was disappointed his side did not perform for the fans who made such a big effort. He said: "We were well aware of what sacrifices they made today, it is well documented. It is something I highlighted to the players before the game. The time, the money involved in that is extreme."
He added: "Their loyal support has unfortunately been rewarded with a poor performance and that does hurt for them and us. I apologise to them for the performance."
This result surprised many considering the great run of form that Bournemouth had been on which had seen them go seven games unbeaten and beat a number of strong sides such as Chelsea. However, Howe felt that his side may have been complacent and over confident ahead of this fixture which may have resulted in the poor performance.
He said: "Sometimes you can get a little bit complacent and expect the win to happen while forgetting the fundamentals. We lost too many duels, we were second-best. That cannot happen."
A huge few weeks ahead
Despite the defeat, the Cherries still find themselves sat in tenth position in the Premier League but just five points clear of the relegation zone. Howe believes that his side are still very much in a relegation battle.
He said: "For me, we are still in a relegation battle, we always have been this season. It is very tight and results like this do not help us. When you are playing the teams in and around you, it is very important you do not lose but today we did not produce a good performance at all."
He added: "We have other games to come and we are in a good position but things can change very quickly. What we have to guard against is any negative reaction to this game."
Due to their exit from the FA Cup, the Cherries now have just under two weeks to prepare for their next league outing as they play host to fellow strugglers Newcastle United. It looks set to be a huge clash at the Vitality Stadium and Howe's side will have to perform better in that game if they are to get back on track.