‘I never imagined we’d be on Match of the Day’

Eddie Howe says seeing his Bournemouth side on Match of the Day next season will be 
beyond his wildest dreams after the Cherries effectively sealed their promotion to the Premier League on Monday.

The sold-out Dean Court crowd sang the theme music from the BBC’s football highlights show throughout the second half of their 3-0 win at Bolton as it began to sink in that they will be watching the Cherries tackle the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea on a weekly basis from August – just seven years after they almost went out of business.

For Howe, who will be celebrating his third promotion with his home-town club this week after preventing them from dropping out of the Football League altogether in 2009, Saturday nights will be a surreal experience next season.

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“I come from the era where Match of the Day was the only real football programme of my generation,” he explained. “Growing up it was what everyone stayed up to watch.

“To see Bournemouth on Match of the Day will be something I never imagined would be possible.”

The bookmakers are divided on the Cherries’ chances of staying in the Premier League, and their manager was not playing down how tough survival will be in 2015-16.

“I think it is going to be incredibly difficult, we are not going to underestimate the challenge that is in front of us,” Howe said. “It’ll be an interesting thing to see how our players adapt. It was interesting to see our development from League One to the Championship.

“It took us a while to adjust but when we did we found our feet and confidence grew. This is going to be tougher though, there is no doubt about that.”

Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn, who wrote a cheque for £100,000 to save the club from liquidation in 2008, believes the Cherries will “enhance the Premier League” and ‘’have as much chance as any of staying up’’.

‘’I think we’ll survive,’’ he said. ‘’We are going up with Watford and we’ve got four points from them this year, we beat QPR last year and we should have got more points from Burnley.

‘’The way we play football we’ll enhance the Premier League and I think of any team that has been promoted in recent years, we have as much chance as any of staying up.’’