CAPTAIN Tommy Elphick insists there is no better time than this season for Cherries to earn promotion to the Premier League.

The 2-1 win over QPR on Saturday meant Eddie Howe’s in- form side remained within five points of sixth-placed Reading and the gap will decrease to two should they beat the Royals at Dean Court tonight (7.45pm).

While some have questioned whether Cherries are ready for a third promotion in five seasons, Elphick is adamant that he and his team-mates have to seize their chance.

He told the Daily Echo: “People say it could be too early but that’s ridiculous, because there’s no right time to go up. We might never get this chance again so we’ve got to keep pushing.

“This club is improving every day. It still has a stigma attached to it and you see that because we’re not getting the credit we deserve and perhaps the coverage we deserve, but we don’t care about that. We’re proud of what we’ve done so far and we want to keep going.

“We’ve got a strong dressing room and a young progressive manager and he’s hungry, the players are hungry and the owner’s hungry, so there’s only one place this club’s going.

“Everyone wants to keep improving. We’ll keep striving and try to keep those dreams alive. Every game we win, the next game becomes bigger and that’s how it’s going to be until the end of the season. We want to keep putting three points on the board and keep moving forward.”

Reading have proved difficult to beat in the Championship of late with Barnsley the only team to overcome them in the past eight games. Nigel Adkins has kept the Royals in the play-off places for the majority of the second half of the campaign and Elphick is keenly aware of the task ahead, but is adamant that only three points will do.

Elphick continued: “Nigel Adkins is another young manager who leaves no stone unturned and is meticulous in his preparation.

“He’s been there and done it. He’s taken teams up and they have got a good squad, so it’s going to be a huge test.

“As well as us, they seem to be the only ones winning at the moment, but if we start well then I think we will give ourselves a big chance. If we want to get into the play-offs, we’ve got to beat them.”