BRIGHTON – Bournemouth skipper Steve Cook has issued a rallying cry to the squad to "step up" and lead to avoid a relegation battle after Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion left them two points above the Premier League drop zone.
In the battle of the south coast clubs, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Aaron Mooy scored in either half to give Bournemouth their seventh loss in nine games.
Eddie Howe's side, 16th, have struggled with injuries to key players this month but Cook said that was no excuse for their poor performance, highlighting the need for the squad to understand the magnitude of their perilous position.
"The two teams were worlds apart today. Something has to change," Cook told Sky Sports. "Individuals have to step up, especially the leaders.
"It's not down to quality but how brave enough people are going to be to want stay in this league. The lads who are fit have to pull something out of the bag. Injuries are a huge factor but it's not an excuse.