Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has admitted that he hopes his side can hit the ground running in the Cherries’ pre-season friendlies that will ease them into the new Premier League season.
Howe has put together some challenging friendlies for his players, as they play against the likes of Sevilla, Levante, Real Betis and Marseille as preparations continue before they head back to the Vitality Stadium for their first game of the season against newly-promoted Cardiff City.
Championship outfits Bristol City and Nottingham Forest will also face the south coast outfit in between the challenges against their European opponents, showing that Howe has big ambitions for his side for the upcoming campaign.
He told the Bournemouth Echo that he wants his players to be properly tested before the season gets underway, saying: “When we reflected on our pre-season last year, one of the things we came away looking at was that we wanted a tougher games programme.
“When you are in the Premier League, your players need to be Premier League-tested during pre-season. We had a couple of really tough games against Napoli and Valencia last year, but we also had a couple where we felt the standard of those games impacted on our start.
“We have tried to analyse everything and tried to find a way to make sure we hit the ground running this season. We wanted to find the toughest games we could have gone to the top leagues in Spain and France.
“We are also paying two tough Championship teams away from home and are excited by our games programme.”
The Cherries will begin their new Premier League against Cardiff City at the Vitality Stadium on 11th August, before an away trip to West Ham United and the visit of Everton shortly after