"I think it's an understatement to say that was a tough one to take", said Howe.
"I said the Newcastle result was a good point, but only if we got the win here".
After previously claiming that he was not "looking at anything" in a hard and expensive January market, Howe said after the win over Everton: "We've picked up another injury in Josh King, but we've got one or two bodies coming back, so it's a little bittersweet".
"But probably his last touch was just a bit more awkward than he would have wanted".
I thought we were very good, passed the ball well and controlled the game for large spells.
A lightning counter three minutes after half-time saw the Seagulls regain the lead through former Bournemouth striker Glenn Murray, but Callum Wilson grabbed a share of the points with 11 minutes remaining after a goalmouth melee.
Packers finish with first losing season since 2008 after Lions loss
He said he planned on going home with his family to celebrate New Year's Eve and that was going to be his focus on Sunday evening. The Lions led 20-3 at halftime with the aid of three Packers turnovers. "Last year, we couldn't buy a big play", Stafford said.
"He's a workhorse, who tracks back and does extremely well for the team", said Hughton.
Wilson's strike, if we can call it that, also prevented Brighton from taking another leap forward in their quest for mid-table obscurity.
"He really wants to do well, he wants to adapt and he's managing that now in a league that's a completely different pace and tempo from what he'd experienced before".
Bournemouth found themselves overloaded down the right flank and a deft lay-off from Gross released Izquierdo into the area, with the Colombia winger cutting the ball across goal for Knockaert to gleefully finish from a tight angle.
Steve Sidwell is still out with a long-term back problem.
A few more half-arsed attempts at getting the ball out of their box once and for all didn't quite do the job either, and, after what seemed an unfeasible amount of time, it finally broke.