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View From The Town End: AFC Bournemouth

Championship leaders Bournemouth will be looking to continue their promotion party at the Madejski Stadium tonight and here to give us the low down on the Cherries is Peter Bell.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

How would you sum up Bournemouth's season so far?

Amazing, sensational, incredible, unbelievable! take your pick. While many fans would have hoped for an improvement of the strong season we had in 203-14, there were not many who expected us to do better than pushing for a play-off position. To be in with a shout of the title and automatic promotion with just four games to go is a fantastic story. I only hope that the players can finish the job because they have been tremendous this season.

You're looking primed for a first season in the Premier League, do you think the club is ready for it?

AFC Bournemouth are a small club in the Championship so to be in the Premier League will be a huge leap in every aspect of the club. However, we've seen other small sides make it so I don't see why the Cherries can't make the jump. It won't be easy and it will be a massive learning curve, but the type of football we play from the back is suited to the higher divisions as the players get a bit more time on the ball and do not face the long ball game quite so much. You can only ever beat the teams in the division you are in, apart from in the cup games so I don't think we really know yet how good this Bournemouth team is and whether it has further potential, but the age of the team is still fairly young and with a couple of additions I do feel that the Cherries could stay up if they do get promoted.

The new £5.13bn contract with Sky kicks in in 2016-17 and suddenly AFC Bournemouth could be one of the top 20 richest clubs in Europe just by getting to the Premier League and staying there for a season.

What is the current ownership situation and how much do you know about those running the club? Is this the fairytale story it seems or have the club had some money to power this promotion push?

The fairytale really is that the club has been fortunate enough to find an owner that does not seek attention, loves the club and the area and who was prepared to share the dream with the fans that 'Anything is possible'. Maxim Demin is not someone you will often see around Dean Court as he is pleased to stay in the background. He talks to Eddie Howe on a daily basis and has accumulated substantial wealth in the petrochemicals industry and the major club sponsors are Energy Consulting that you will see on the shirts. The extent of Maxim's wealth is not really talked about but he brought a house in Sandbanks (Poole) for several million a few years back and anyone who is happy to lend the club £7 million as an interest free loan shows you that he isn't short of a few bob.

The club is debt free which is the important thing and that's why it has kept out of any financial fair play problems. It is a very well run club now. Players are improved when they come to the club and become assets like Lewis Grabban who was sold on for a big profit. Most of the players have come from League One and some from even lower down the scale, while we have some good ex-Premier League players now in the squad that have added experience.

The owners have invested in new facilities like gyms, the club shop, training facilities, car park and stadium - the list is endless. The club does not own the stadium but it has options to expand on the current site which is the preferred option and who knows what the money from being in a division like the Premier League could do for the club.

Bournemouth easily brushed aside Reading earlier this season, what did you make of us that day and from what you've seen of us since?

Reading have not had a good run against the Cherries for sure. It was an evening game when you played us in October and it ended 3-0. Callum Wilson scored from a rare header and while Reading played really well in the first half hour they could not convert their dominance into any goals and were punished in a 15 minute spell in the second half when the Cherries clicked. That is the difference between the top and middle teams in this league. Over 90 minutes AFCB usually find a way to finish and don't keep missing chances, but Reading have scored less than half of what AFCB have scored in the league.

When you said goodbye to Nigel Adkins I expected a more resilient Reading to emerge and one that used pace to attack teams with players like Hal Robson-Kanu in your side and Jordan Obita. But Steve Clarke needs to work out what is best at Reading and I think he has to get it right this summer for you and bring in some hungry players. I think your home form has not been great so perhaps hat is also something that Clarke needs to look at, because the players can do it if they have beaten teams like Ipswich and Derby away.


Any Reading player you're not hoping to face on Tuesday?

I probably don't really mind that much who Steve Clarke puts out.  I've not seen Jamie Mackie and I'd like to see him play as well as Jordan Obita. Sadly, I think your big guns will be rested and I imagine that defence might be the first consideration of Steve Clarke's mind.

Which Bournemouth players should we be particularly concerned about?

All of them to be fair as they are all capable of scoring. Those that have been in form though are Callum Wilson and Yann Kermorgant and if Adam Smith gets a start I would not be surprised if he gets a goal because just about everything has been going right for the side and that would be another pleasing story.

Score prediction?

It's a bit hard not knowing what Steve Clarke is going to do but AFCB will score and I think it will be tough for Reading. Still I see it as a game where the Cherries will just be trying to be professional and come through unscathed. It could be interesting if Reading can keep Bournemouth out for an hour, but I'll go for a 1-3 away win.

Finally who are you tipping to win promotion and to join Blackpool in League One?

League Two is very competitive this year and while Burton and the Shrews look like they are up, along with Wycombe I have a sneaky feeling that Plymouth will come with a late run to go up via the play-offs.

Finally, the very best of luck to Reading in the FA Cup. Make sure you rest lots of players ahead of that game, perhaps your youth team players want a run out against AFC Bournemouth!

Thanks again to Peter and you can follow him on twitter @PeterBell19 and read more on Cherry Chimes