By 90Min
December 03, 2017

Bournemouth ace Simon Francis has demanded that his side have a wake-up call and shape up for their coastal clash with rivals Southampton.

Eddie Howe's men faced defeat for the first time in four outings as they lost 2-1 to a resilient Burnley side in a midweek league encounter.

Despite a recent run of form and spells of good results, Francis believes that his side are yet to get anywhere near their best football.

The 32-year-old insists that if the team does not find its rhythm and get back to its free-flowing best, then it could see the encounter at the Vitality Stadium ending in humiliation.

When speaking on the need for a resurgence the midfield claimed: “We have such a massive run of games coming up – starting with the big derby. But if we turn up and play like we did against Burnley then we’ll have no chance against Saints.

“We really have to flip our performance and put something special in for the fans. It’s a massive game.And then we have another huge one against Crystal Palace next week before the run of fixtures over Christmas.

“The sooner we start to put things right the better because, even though we’ve been on a good run, we haven’t been playing to our potential. We started slowly against Huddersfield, although we won 4-0. In the Newcastle win, we showed good character but again didn’t start well. The fact is we have to start playing for the whole 90 minutes.”

Francis was especially concerned about the fact that the Cherries only began to show life after going two goals down against Burnley, as Josh King grabbed, what would turn out to be a consolation goal.

Francis showed his discontent on the poor display, saying: “It was unacceptable really on many levels. That’s not the identity of how we play. We got sucked into the way they play. We couldn’t get a grip on the game and when we did, at the end, it was not enough.

“That’s the most disappointing thing for me – that it took us to be two down to show any character. We didn’t deserve to get anything out of it. If you give anyone a leg up like that in the Premier League then you’re going to struggle.”

Manager Eddie Howe also shared the discontent in regards to the performance and cannot explain the dip in form as the Cherries look to steer clear of the relegation zone.

“It’s frustrating because we should have come into the Burnley game full of confidence. But Southampton is a derby and a game of that size coming so quickly is a good thing for us and our fans. It should be a full house with a great atmosphere.

“It was difficult for the fans against Burnley. I really struggled to see what our style was. If it’s tough for me to watch, it’s even harder from their perspective.”

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