Howe is relishing the challenge of keeping Bournemouth in the Premier League

EDDIE Howe says that he is relishing the challenge of keeping Bournemouth in an ever-improving Premier League.

The Cherries comfortably retained their top-flight status in their first season after promotion and last term finished ninth.

But with Premier League spending in the current transfer window already at an all-time record level,Howe is anticipating their biggest fight yet.

‘It gets tougher every year,’ he said. ‘The competition gets more intense and the players get better.
‘This will be the hardest Premier League ever because it’s the most recent one.

‘With the money in the Premier League now the standard of the players coming in is always improving and that makes it ever- harder for each team to compete.

‘It’s a challenge we always look forward to taking on.’

Bournemouth’s task has been made more difficult as they suffered back-to-back defeats in their opening two games.

But instead of dwelling on the losses to West Brom and Watford, Howe is taking the positives from the midweek 2-1 victory over Birmingham City in the Carabao Cup.

The Bournemouth boss added: ‘Whenever you win a game you get a good feeling and you crave that positivity. No matter what competition it is, it’s a good thing to do.

‘It was good to see us score. We’ve always been very free-flowing and have created chances and in the first two games we didn’t do that. To do so against Birmingham was good to see.

‘The results at the start of the season are one thing but the performances have been more concerning.’

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.