Eddie Howe: Players must be brave for Premier League

Eddie Howe has urged his players to prove they are good enough to play in the top flight Credit: PA

Bournemouth FC Manager Eddie Howe has told his players to prove they are good enough for the Premier League in today's season opener with Aston Villa.

The Cherries boss has vowed to stick to the style which delivered the Championship title and promotion to the top flight last term, beginning when his men meet Villa at Dean Court on Saturday.

"We feel the team's ready. Now we've just got to go out and prove that we're good enough," Howe said.

"I'm not saying we're going to score 98 goals, but we're certainly going to go at it the same way in terms of how we approach the games.

"We're going to be brave and we're going to try to take games to teams. That's our way, that's what we've become accustomed to, that's what our players expect us to do.

"To veer away from that format I think would be foolish on the back of all the success we've had.

"We know it's going to be tough, we know it's going to be harder, we know there may be some bumps in the road for us. I think we're prepared for that."

Villa are expected by many commentators to be fighting to stay in the Premier League this season, along with Bournemouth.

Howe believes Tim Sherwood's side are strong, though.

"They've had to sell a couple of players but I think they've invested very wisely," Howe said.

"I think the players they've brought in are very good. I think Tim's an outstanding manager. He proved that at the back end of last season.

"We're under no illusions. Although they've lost players they've reinvested, their squad is very strong. We expect a very difficult first game."

The Cherries have also invested well, signing nine players, including Lee Tomlin and Max Gradel this week.

Howe said: "It's going to be probably my hardest team selection I've ever had to make. Everyone wants to play the first game. For me it's not such a big deal."

Asked what would constitute success for Bournemouth this term, Howe said: "Improvement. Improving the team, improving the players and improving the performances. That's how we measure where we are.

"We certainly did that last season and we're going to expect the same again."