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Howe ready for top-flight challenge

Eddie Howe has overseen Bournemouth's rise from League Two to the Barclays Premier League but believes the hard work is only just beginning as they prepare to face the elite of English football.

The Cherries won the Sky Bet Championship last season to take their place in the top flight for the first time, and they will get their first taste when Aston Villa visit to open the season in August.

Having masterminded the south-coast club's rise during two spells in charge, the 37-year-old Howe knows the biggest challenges of his career await, with a trip to Anfield on the agenda in only the second week of the season.

"We had to work hard for every single point in League Two, League One and the Championship and are going to have to work even harder for points in the Premier League," Howe said in the Bournemouth Echo.

"I am under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be, but we will enjoy it and try to relish every moment of the experience we are going to face."

Bournemouth face a testing run-in, which could make-or-break their chances of staying up, taking on the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton in April, before finishing the campaign at Old Trafford.

Howe added: " Everybody connected with the club has waited a long time to see us in the top division and the publication of the fixtures really brings it home that we are there.

"Whether you are a player or a coach, you should always want to test yourself against the best and we will certainly get the opportunity to do that next season.

"We have got a tough start, a tough middle and a tough end - that is how difficult the Premier League is going to be, but it is where everyone wants to be.

"There are so many great grounds and it will be a tremendous experience for everyone involved with the club."

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