'This one is probably the most real we've been in': Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admits his side face tough task in relegation battle Eddie Howe admits this is the most difficult relegation battle for Bournemouth Howe's side lost 1-0 to Burnley on Saturday after Jay Rodriguez scored a winner  Burnley's James Tarkowski played down criticism of the Clarets' playing style 

Hard times for Eddie Howe. Six defeats in their last seven and not so much as a shot on target against an unashamedly bullish Burnley.

Last weekend's win at Chelsea already seems a long way away. Missing nine first-team players, Bournemouth lost a battle of wills against a more streetwise opponent, excruciatingly falling in the 89th minute.

Try as they might to play their way through the visitors, any guile was firmly dealt with by Burnley's ever-present two banks of four.

Eddie Howe admits that his Bournemouth side face a tough task in the battle against relegation

Aaron Ramsdale dealt superbly with Burnley's relentless aerial assault, but the keeper was beaten by a rare moment of quality, substitute Jay Rodriguez converting Ashley Westwood's cross.

Bournemouth improved after the introduction of Callum Wilson, but Howe despaired at his depleted side's plight.

And it is crunch time: Bournemouth's next seven games are against sides in the bottom half of the table. 'I've said before we're in a relegation battle,' Howe said. 

'I've said before every season we're in a relegation battle. This one is probably the most real we've been in.'

Burnley defender James Tarkowski played down criticism of the Clarets' playing style

Sean Dyche's chest was fully puffed out after another success on the south coast. This was classic Burnley. Vintage Clarets, if you like. 

The frustrated home fans aired their exasperation, jeering: 'Boring, boring Burnley.' 

But that was music to the ears of James Tarkowski, who was resolute alongside fellow centre back Ben Mee.

'People don't always appreciate the way we play,' Tarkowski said. 'We know what we are. We utilise our assets and cause problems against every team. On days like this, I think hard work is often the best way.'

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