EDDIE Howe said ending a five-game unbeaten run at home felt like taking a step backwards for Burnley.

The Clarets boss bemoaned a “poor performance” against Millwall after suffering their sixth defeat at Turf Moor this season.

The result did not do too much damage as far as the table is concerned, as the gap to the play-offs remained at six points.

But Howe was disappointed to be outdone by a side battling at the opposite end of the table.

“We looked open and ragged in the first half, even before they scored,” he said.

“They took the game to us and we were slow out of the traps.

“It was as a poor performance; as poor as we’ve seen for a long time really. We conceded some bad goals at bad times.”

Howe added: “It feels like we’ve taken a step backwards.

“Earlier in the season we had produced performances similar to that, and certainly last season, but we felt we had moved on and were a better team and a real force to be reckoned with.

“So this is a bad slip and we need to regroup and recover and make sure we put it right.”

Burnley lost Dean Marney before the game after his wife gave birth to their first child overnight on Friday, and were not permitted to play Josh McQuoid against his parent club. They were 2-0 down when their midfield took a further hit when Chris McCann went off with a hamstring problem.

It is not thought to be serious, but was enough to make Howe shuffle his pack with the introduction of Martin Paterson, before bringing on Danny Ings and Brian Easton at the start of the second half.

“We lost Deano before the game. His wife’s just given birth and apparently she’s lost a lot of blood so he had to be with his wife, which we totally understood,” Howe explained. “Then Chris felt his hamstring. That’s two of our mainstays in midfield and it’s difficult because we had no other centre midfielders.

“It was a case of re-adjusting and bringing Ross Wallace inside, which was difficult from then on in.

“We wanted to put an extra body in midfield because we didn’t have a natural central midfielder apart from Marvin (Bartley). We wanted to try to attack and put all our front players on so we went 3-5-2 and I thought we did alright.”

The Clarets tried to take the game to Millwall but Harry Kane killed off any challenge with the third goal, adding to Andy Keogh and Josh Wright first-half strikes, before Jay Rodriguez scored a consolation from the spot.

“We battled away and if we’d have got one I think it would have been interesting but we couldn’t break them down,” said Howe.