MIDFIELD man Harry Arter insists Cherries’ record-breaking exploits will count for nothing if they don’t sustain their meteoric progress with a promotion push next season.
Irrespective of tomorrow’s result at relegation-threatened Millwall (12.15pm), Eddie Howe’s men will end their first season in the Championship with the club’s highest finish and record points total in the second tier.
Ninth-placed Cherries are already four points better off than Harry Redknapp’s class of 1989 ahead of the Den clash, with eighth place still up for grabs if they can win in London.
But while the Dean Court faithful celebrate their loftiest position in English football, 24-year-old Arter was adamant that the squad had no time for backslapping and declared it would be a “failure” should Cherries not go on to establish themselves in the promotion-chasing pack next time round.
Asked for his views on setting the standard, Arter told the Echo: “The lads don’t really see it like that. Maybe it’s something to look back on when we finish our careers but next season, we want to break the record again.
“We don’t want to look at it now, pat ourselves on the back with smiles on our faces and end up finishing lower than that next season.
“What we want to achieve has nothing to do with breaking records as such, but that does go hand-in-hand with wanting to be successful.
"The mentality we have had for the past two years has proved successful and with that we have broken many records along the way.
“If for whatever reason we don’t manage to better it, I’m sure we’ll look back and realise what we have achieved, but in the meantime we have a lot of unfinished business and this is no time to think about this being the club’s best ever finish. We want more.
“As much as it is a great record, you don’t win anything for finishing eighth.
“Next season, if we don’t get in the play-offs or aim for promotion then it will be a failure. The most important thing is to keep improving and this season will be a good benchmark for us.”
Meanwhile, despite Millwall’s Championship future being on the line, Arter added that Cherries still had plenty to play for in their own right.
“As much as people might think it is not important to us, eighth place is up for grabs,” he said.
“We want to finish as high as we can and I know the manager won’t let us rest on our laurels just because others assume we have nothing to play for.
“It will be as important to us as the Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich games and we’ll be up for this one as much as any other.”