Eddie Howe admitted high-flying Bournemouth were well below their best as they stuttered to a goalless draw against south coast rivals Southampton.
The Cherries created little at the Vitality Stadium and needed 72 minutes to register an attempt on target.
Their unbeaten home record came under serious threat in the closing stages with Saints substitutes Stuart Armstrong and Manolo Gabbiadini squandering golden opportunities.
Manager Howe accepts his team must improve in order to continue their strong start to the season.
“I don’t think we really got going today, it’s frustrating from our perspective, we know we can play better than that,” said Howe.
“But I think you have to always respect the opposition, I thought Southampton made it difficult for us to really get going.
“We know that we have to look at ourselves and go away and analyse that game and come back a better team.
“(I am) frustrated that in a game of minimal chances that when they did come from our perspective we didn’t take them, but then Southampton will probably say the same from their perspective.
“We never had our fluency today, for whatever reason.
“It didn’t quite happen for our attacking players – not through lack of effort – I think you do get games like that.
“A draw is probably a fair result.”
In-form Bournemouth averaged two points a game from their opening eight fixtures but they failed to fully impose themselves on a tight, physical encounter.
Adam Smith and David Brooks wasted early chances, while Nathan Ake headed straight at Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy from Ryan Fraser’s corner when the Cherries finally did manage a goal-bound effort.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg impressed for Southampton and he threatened three times from distance before Armstrong missed his kick from close range and Italian striker Gabbidini headed over in added time with the goal gaping.
Saints have now gone 385 minutes in the Premier League without a goal but did succeed in ending a three-match losing streak which saw them concede eight times without reply.
Southampton manager Mark Hughes felt his team edged the contest and showed improvement following their recent struggles.
“I was pleased with the performance. It was important to give a bit more of a statement,” said Hughes.
“We were all disappointed with what we were able to produce against Chelsea (a 3-0 loss).
“It seems a long time since that game and it was important that we came back after the international break and showed what we were about.
“The back four were very good for us, they set the tone for us.
“We negated the threat Bournemouth clearly have, they have a lot of pace and power at the top end of the pitch and found it very difficult to show it today because of how we approached the game.
“Clearly we did enough to win the game. We had three or four clear-cut chances that on another day you want to take.
“We’ll take a point and build from here.”