Scott Parker: Bournemouth boss to savour promotion to Premier League

Scott Parker mobbed
Scott Parker was mobbed by staff and players at the final whistle, with the Cherries promoted

Boss Scott Parker says he will savour the feeling of Bournemouth’s promotion to the Premier League, achieved with a game to spare after their victory against Nottingham Forest.

Forest’s hopes of challenging the Cherries for second place were ended with Kieffer Moore’s late winner.

It means Bournemouth and Parker avoid the play-offs and have extra time to enjoy the achievement.

“I struggle to enjoy moments,” an emotional Parker told BBC Radio Solent.

“Every other day you then think about what’s next. It’s the same now. The person I am and with my staff there’s going to be an element of – ‘Right, now we’re Premier League, what are we going to do?'”

His last promotion was with former club Fulham just two seasons ago, after a Wembley play-off final win against Brentford behind closed doors.

But he was left with little chance to soak up the feeling, as a Covid-delayed 2019-20 campaign meant just a five-week turnaround before their Premier League return.

The 41-year-old arrived at the Vitality Stadium last summer after Fulham were relegated and the Cherries lost in the play-off semi-finals to Brentford. He now has three months to prepare his side for a top-flight return.

“I said to my family after the last time I got promoted with Fulham, that I’m going to enjoy the moment a bit more,” Parker added.

“I want to enjoy this moment, we’ve created an amazing memory for me, the family, the players and the young players have created an amazing memory and we’ll enjoy it.”

Young skipper hails Cherries ‘graft’

Bournemouth players soak up promotion
Bournemouth’s players were mobbed by fans at the full-time whistle

One of the young players Parker has been able to count on has been Lloyd Kelly.

The Bristol-born 23-year-old has been a key figure in the defensive unit which has conceded a joint league-best 39 goals, and also took on the captaincy when Steve Cook fell out of favour.

He had a fleeting glimpse of the Premier League in his first season after a £13m move from Bristol City, making eight appearances in 2019-20 before their relegation.

“It’s hard to put it into words, what I can say is we’ve grafted from day one of pre-season to where we are now, and it’s just amazing to be honest,” Kelly told BBC Radio Solent.

“Everyone in the dressing room, masseuses, staff, physios, players, this is what we deserve and I’m so proud of everyone involved.”


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