AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe urges fans to stick by Cherries
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has urged the club's fans to stick by his team as he braces himself for a tough season in the Championship.
The Cherries won promotion to the second tier of English football for the first time since 1987 and Howe is aware of the challenge facing his side.
"It's exciting times but I'm a realist and I know how difficult it is going to be," Howe told BBC South Today.
"We are going to have bad times and we need them [fans] to stick by the team."
Although Howe has been quick to warn his players about the gulf in class between League One and the Championship, he insists he is relishing the challenge and cannot wait for it to get underway.
"The step from League One to the Championship is one of the biggest in English football," said Howe.
"Strikers are more ruthless and you have to work harder for your goals. We will have to be better in all departments to succeed so we can consolidate our position in the Championship.
"We are here and we have to try and succeed against the odds. Regardless of the investment off the pitch we are a small squad. We are up against it but we will give it a go and we have some really good young players.
"The club has come such a long way, financially we are restricted but we are trying to be creative in the transfer market and bring players in on a reasonable level of wage.
"We don't want to be perceived as minnows, we have good players and will be positive in our approach."
The Cherries have added defenders Ian Harte and Elliott Ward, as well as forward Mohamed Coulibaly, to their squad and Howe hopes he can make further signings.
He also says his young squad are determined to prove themselves in the Championship and enjoy the experience.
"We had to improve the squad, we couldn't stand still and we had to evolve and get better," Howe continued.
"The players have made us better and hopefully we can add a couple more and we will be in good shape.
"We have to be realistic, cautious and we don't want to put too much pressure on the young players.
"I would urge fans to stick with us - the lads are hungry for success and are passionate about this football. We have come such a long way so let's enjoy it and keep reminding ourselves where we have come from."