Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has challenged his players to rediscover their football “soul” and take on the remaining games with a greater determination.

The Seagulls are without a win in six matches after slipping to a 3-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Lying third in the Premier League when they won the reverse fixture at the end of September, Brighton are now down to 12th.

Their hopes of a return to Europe are over and Italian boss De Zerbi is concerned they are lacking in motivation.

“Injuries are a factor, but motivation as well,” he said. “Motivation in football is 80 per cent of our work.

“In my time every game is a big challenge, a big target. In this moment, too many points from Europe, we are working for an unclear target but I can’t accept a game without soul.

“We have to stop this moment quickly. I have a big respect for my players and I know they are suffering in the same way, but we have to be honest with ourselves.

“We always have to play with soul, with honour and with pride because we are Brighton.”

Headers from Marcos Senesi and Unal Enes put Bournemouth 2-0 up and Justin Kluivert capped a fine display with a late third.

The victory lifted the Cherries to 10th on 48 points, a club record in the top flight.

“It means a lot,” Kluivert told the club website. “We spoke about it and it was something we wanted to achieve. I’m super proud of the team.

“It was a very complete performance. We have some injuries but it doesn’t matter. We know what we want, The players that come on can have a great impact and that’s what a team is.”