AFC Bournemouth were unable to cope in their first encounter with one of the Premier League’s top four sides, according to coach Eddie Howe.
The promoted club suffered their heaviest defeat of the season so far on Saturday, losing 5-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Howe acknowledged his team were outclassed, but was pleased by the improvement they showed after the interval, having gone in at the break 4-1 down.
“It was very difficult and they have quality,” Howe said following the match.
“It was our first experience of the top four and we didn’t deal with it well.
“We made a few individual errors. We did show character in the second half and there was a spell during the first half when I thought we were on top but we couldn’t maintain it.
Bournemouth conceded four times in the first half, with goalkeeper Adam Federici – drafted in for the injured Artur Boruc – at fault for two of City’s goals.
Howe was disappointed by his team’s failure to give the replacement shot-stopper more protection.
“Boruc was complaining of discomfort in his thigh so we had to get Feds [Federici] ready, which was not ideal as he had little time to prepare,” Howe added.
“It wasn’t ideal but you have to deal with it and our start made it even more difficult.”
Next up for Bournemouth is the visit of Tottenham Hotspur to Dean Court