Steve Cook has been told his public criticism of Bournemouth’s latest defeat was unhelpful and unhealthy.

The Cherries’ skipper from Hastings offered a frank verdict after the 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle.

Cook started his career with Albion but has been outstanding down the years with Bournemouth during their rise to and stay in the Premier League.

He reportedly said the Cherries "played like kids" against Newcastle.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said today he prefers players' critical views to remain private and urged his squad to stick together in the battle to beat the drop.

"Listen, I don't think they are helpful for us," he said of Cook's comments.

"When you don't perform well, I think everything needs to be internal.

"That's always been how I've worked. We keep things in-house and our opinions of ourselves stay that way.

"I have a duty when I come to the media to tell the truth in respect of what I think of our performances and I don't think it's healthy to view ourselves or read ourselves in that way.

"For the collective good of the group and the club, we know recent performances haven't been good enough, I don't think you need to be too clever to work that out.

"Nothing can change the past, we can only change the future and the only way we're going to do that is to stay together."

Centre-back Cook revealed Bournemouth's players locked themselves in the dressing room after the Newcastle match.

The Cherries have taken only a single point from the last 21 available and visit Manchester United tomorrow.

Howe said: "A lot of people are certainly welcome to their opinion and a lot of outsiders - probably a huge percentage of people - will say we're done, we're finished.

"But historically at this club that's always been the way in many different aspects. We've been written off and against the odds we've come through and achieved great things.

"I'm still very much on the positive mindset that we can do it but certainly we are going to have to elevate everything to a new level from what we've seen in the last few games."