December 30, 2016 / 11:18 AM / 8 months ago

Bournemouth must improve consistency, says Howe

Britain Soccer Football - Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 26/12/16 Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic

(Reuters) - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe addressed the issue of inconsistency with his players after Monday's loss to leaders Chelsea condemned them to their sixth defeat in nine games.

Bournemouth, who were languishing in fourth tier of English football six years ago, reached their highest Premier League position of eighth this month but back-to-back losses have sent them back down to 12th.

"Christmas was difficult. A bad result always ruins everything, even socially - I think the kids still had fun," Howe told reporters on Friday.

"I think the team is fine, but we've made individual mistakes that have cost us. We need to get back to being more solid. Our inconsistency has been talked about internally.

"We're playing some good teams, but looking at ourselves we need to do better."

Bournemouth will be without winger Marc Pugh and midfielder Lewis Cook for Saturday's trip to second-bottom Swansea City.

"Marc Pugh is out with a hamstring injury sustained against Southampton. Lewis Cook is out, but everyone else is available," Howe said.

"Lewis is not back training yet, he's working with the sports science team and working on his fitness."

Howe remains confident Bournemouth have enough strength in depth to cope with playing two games in four day.

"This is a key period for us with so many games in such a short time," he added.

"It's a challenge for me to pick a team for Swansea but as I've said before, we have a strong squad."

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed osmond

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