Howe was speaking after he was forced to do without the services of midfielder Joe Partington for Cherries Carling Cup tie at Millwall on Tuesday.
And had Josh McQuoid been fully fit, Cherries already-threadbare resources would have been further weakened by the absence of the young striker.
Partington lined up for Wales in their 4-1 victory over Hungary in a UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifier in Wrexham on Wednesday.
And although he was subsequently withdrawn with the blessing of the IFA McQuoid was due to turn out in a friendly for Northern Ireland under-21s in Portugal.
Howe was responding after several high-profile managers had questioned the wisdom of arranging internationals so close to the start of the new season.
He said: We need every player we can get at the moment. Joe would have been very much in our thoughts to start against Millwall, but, unfortunately, we missed him.
I know there has been a lot of controversy about the internationals taking place just a week into the season and, from our point of view, it certainly made things very difficult.
We were more fortunate with Josh because he had been out injured for a period of time. The IFA were very good with us so we managed to keep him.
It was different with Joe. He did all of pre-season and was fully fit so they wanted him. It is never an ideal situation when youve got such a small squad and you cant bring in any bodies.
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