AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe confessed that his side are still getting used to the demands of the Premier League following Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Norwich City.
A solid early defensive performance at Carrow Road was undone by Cameron Jerome’s first-half strike, before a dominant showing after the break saw Norwich race into a 3-0 lead courtesy of goals from Wes Hoolahan and debutant Matt Jarvis.
Bournemouth earned themselves a late consolation through Steve Cook’s header, though Howe could not help but dwell on several defensive lapses from his side.
He said: “Reflecting on last season I don’t think we would have performed like that. But I think that’s part of the learning curve for us and is part of the development of the squad that when we do have moments like this we need to show our strength.
“It was always going to be that kind of season for us. We were always going to have disappointments and setbacks, but this is a good test to the group now to see how strong they are and find ourselves again next week.
“We’ve had moments before in games where things don’t go our way and you’ve got to make sure you’re resolute and survive those moments and come back strong again. The game is a game of momentum and there’s always highs and lows within it.”
Having now conceded six goals from their last two away trips, Howe conceded his side are making too many costly errors that are hampering their progress.
He added: “I think we’ve been punished for some poor defending and I feel that it’s a game where if we hadn’t had those moments and lapses of concentration, we would have had a great chance of winning the game.”
The 37-year old also insisted his side would not view the trip to Norfolk as an opportunity missed, despite Norwich being widely tipped as one of Bournemouth’s relegation rivals.
“We look at every fixture that we’ve got to get something from,” he said. “That’s very much our mindset, so this game is as important as all the others.
“We’re hugely disappointed with our performance and the challenge for us is to respond in the right manner now.”