DEAN Court goal specialist Yann Kermorgant is hoping Cherries can fast-track him to the Premier League.
Kermorgant took his tally for Cherries at the venue to nine in six starts when he bagged a double in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Championship rivals Nottingham Forest.
The Frenchman, who also scored at Dean Court for former club Charlton in August, has notched 17 goals this season, his best return since he moved to England in 2009.
Kermorgant has been a key figure as Cherries have enjoyed a fruitful second half to the campaign, the striker impressing since completing a £400,000 move from the Addicks in January.
And while Eddie Howe’s men may have missed out on a place in the play-offs, Kermorgant is determined to help them go at least one better next season.
The 32-year-old said: “I am gutted and sad but we have to move on and start preparing for next season. We have seen lots of good signs and the team and squad are quite young so we can learn. We are going to finish not far from the play-offs and this is the club’s first season in the Championship for a while.
“We have to aim to better it next season. I am sure the owner will be pushing for a place in the play-offs, as will the manager and the players. We have to keep working hard. I am sure the manager has a plan and knows exactly what he is going to bring to the team to push for the play-offs.
“When I signed, it was a good challenge. With my age, I didn’t want to sign somewhere where they had a project for five or 10 years because I would have been too old at the end. I needed something quick, a push for the play offs and the Premier League as soon as possible. I heard that was the case here and the move fitted perfectly for me.”
Kermorgant’s two goals, a first-half header and a thunderous right-foot strike in stoppage time, sandwiched Lewis Grabban’s double, his second coming from the penalty spot after Marc Pugh had been felled.
However, while Cherries completed their home fixtures with a resounding victory, Brighton’s win over Yeovil on Friday effectively ended their play-off hopes due to their inferior goal difference.
Kermorgant added: “Even though the dream was gone, we wanted to finish well in front of the home fans. The final home game is the one you remember for next season so we wanted to show the quality we had in the team and it was the perfect day for us.
“I was very pleased because 17 goals is my best return in a season. If I play in a team which creates chances, I will score goals and that is exactly what has happened since I came here. If we keep playing like that I will score many more.
“I will do my best to have a good pre-season and will try to start the season well because it is very important time in terms of confidence. If Lewis and myself keep working well, we can both score goals. The manager and owner will do their best to keep Lewis because he is a big part of the squad.
“I know the owner maybe has the money to bring in good players but, at the same time, I know the manager will not make silly transfers and will be clever and bring in one, two or three good additions to make the squad even better.”