STRIKER Brett Pitman is targeting an immediate return to the Championship after joining Eddie Howe's Dean Court revolution.

Pitman, who has signed initially on loan from Bristol City, will make the move permanent in the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old has agreed terms on a lucrative three-and-a-half contract and will cost Cherries a nominal fee, believed to be around £60,000.

Pitman netted 28 times to help Cherries clinch promotion to League One in 2010 and joined City in a £550,000 move at the start of the following season.

However, despite netting 13 goals in his first season, including eight in an eight-game purple patch, Pitman fell out of favour following the arrival of Derek McInnes as manager.

This season, he has been restricted to one start in the League Cup and three brief substitute appearances in the Championship, even though City have struggled for goals.

Pitman, winner of the coveted Daily Echo-Micky Cave supporters' player-of-the-year award in 2010, said: “I thought I did well when I got the opportunities at Bristol City but, this season, I hadn't had any so it was time to move on.”

The Jerseyman flourished under Howe during his first spell at Dean Court when he propelled himself into the club's top-10 all-time leading goalscorers.

Pitman, who had also been a target for Burnley and Millwall, added: “Eddie coming back was a massive factor. I don't think there is any secret about our relationship. We get on and there is no denying we work well together so, hopefully, we can do that again.

“The main reason for coming back was to play football. I love the club and I like living here but, most importantly, the people here are ambitious and I really think we can go to the Championship this season.

“I played against them in pre-season and, with the squad they had assembled, you had to fancy them to do well. For whatever reason, it didn't quite happen at the start of the season. But since Eddie and Jason have come in, they are unbeaten so that says it all.”

Pitman could be in contention for a place when Cherries take their nine-match unbeaten record to improving Bury on Saturday.

He added: “I haven't played any football for a while so it will be down to the manager. I have told him I am fit and ready. I don't know how match fit I am because I haven't played a match so we will see. I am sure I will be okay.”

Pitman, who had fired a parting shot at the Dean Court boo-boys after he had left for Bristol City, received a warm reception when he was unveiled ahead of Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Stevenage.

He said: “The reaction was unbelievable. I know if I score goals for them, they will be happy. I think my relationship with the fans was always good, bar maybe one or two.”