sport

Elphick: No need to leave

Tommy Elphick feels lofty ambitions can be fulfilled at Bournemouth, with there no need for players to look elsewhere.

Eddie Howe's men only stepped up into the second tier at the start of the 2013/14 campaign, but ended the season within touching distance of the play-off places and a shot at the Premier League.

Building on that success with a limited budget will be no easy task, with the Sky Bet Championship renowned for being a fiercely competitive division.

There is, however, a feeling at Bournemouth that they can continue to hold their own and take positive strides forward.

Keeping key men will be crucial if they are to remain on the right track, with Lewis Grabban having already left for Norwich City and speculation linking the likes of Steve Cook, Eunan O'Kane and Matt Ritchie with moves up the ladder.

Bournemouth maintain that they are under no pressure to sell, though, and club captain Elphick hopes those attracting attention will realise that they are already part of an ambitious project.

He told the Daily Echo: "Grabbs will be hard to replace, but I don't think the manager would let him go without an idea of how to fill the void. We have a lot of great strikers and it is a big chance for players to step up and produce.

"It was a great deal for all parties. Grabbs gets to play for another big club and the money might give us the chance to add to what we have.

"Our players attracting interest is a good thing, it shows we are doing something right as a team and how far we have come under the guidance of the manager.

"We have all benefited from the investment and work the club has put into us all, and that's only going to continue because neither the manager nor the owner wants to stop.

"Everyone wants to make that leap into the Premier League and once players get to the age of 25 or 26, they want to be doing it now.

"Some can get a bit jittery if they are at a club which isn't moving forward or if they aren't getting the rewards they deserve, but everyone here is.

"We're taking a different path to some of the bigger players but if we can just stick it out for another season or two, then I believe we can get there.

"If we can keep the core of this squad together, then I am convinced that great things can be achieved."