Auston Trusty admits Sheffield United's lack of competitiveness has let them down in some Premier League games this season
The Blades have suffered bad defeats before this season – none more so than the 5-0 defeat at Arsenal or 8-0 home loss to Newcastle United – but Bournemouth are one of the five teams who were cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League. On top of that, the Blades were at home on the back of a first win of the campaign, followed by a draw at Brighton and Hove Albion, and a points deduction for Everton which moved them another place up the table.
To lose was forgivable – Bournemouth's own form has picked up lately – but to be so outplayed in the 3-1 defeat was not as the boos from the stands made clear.
"There's no real other way to explain it other than disappointing," admitted centre-back Trusty.
But the fixture list presents another "mini-league" game at bottom-of-the-table Burnley next Saturday and the Blades must rebuild their morale and particularly that of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham quickly.
"We have to keep believing, we've had good moments so we have to keep going," said Trusty. "I had a good feeling going into this game on the back of two good performances for us and two good results.
"We set up to win and be aggressive and take advantage of every opportunity, it just didn't go our way.
"Yes, it's unfortunate and disappointing that we lost this game but we have to keep grinding.
"Everyone has to do one or two per cent more, anything you can give more we have to show it, collectively and individually.
"That (competitiveness) is something we have to get better at, from the first whistle we need to be on it. It's let us down in a few games in the past and that just can't happen."
Given how positive November had been for them, it was surprising how flat the Blades began the game, allowing Bournemouth to dominate possession without anywhere near enough pressure on the ball, not least for Marcus Tavernier's 12th-minute opener.
"That's not our mindset, not what we trained or set up for," said Trust. "I don't know why it was like that.
"The first 15 minutes is a good indication of what happens in the game after that, how you start indicates how it's going to go and we didn't start well."
Although nothing that happened before or after suggested the Blades were ever going to take anything other than a beating on Saturday, Foderingham's error, coming out of his area, tripping on the ball and presenting Justin Kluivert with the chance to make it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time was big.
"I didn't see what happened," claimed Trusty. "But of course we'll get around him. Everyone's going to make mistakes in this league, no matter what we stay together.
"It's unfortunate we didn't come back to win the game because that would have been awesome, to show that we have his back.
"We take everything as a team. When things are going our way we stay together and when things aren't we stay together as well.”
Luton Town’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace widened the gap to Premier League safety to four points.