MARC Pugh believes he can fulfil his ambitions with Cherries after pledging his long-term future to the club.

The talented winger revealed that the return of Eddie Howe and Cherries' Championship credentials persuaded him to sign a new deal.

Star player Pugh yesterday committed himself to Cherries until 2016 when he penned a three-and-a-half year contract with the Dorset outfit.

The 25-year-old had previously declined the opportunity to seal fresh terms after stating his desire to ply his trade in English football's second tier.

But Pugh, who was signed by Howe from Hereford in 2010, had a change of heart after the former Cherries boss returned as Paul Groves's successor.

The fans' favourite said the appointment of Howe and Jason Tindall had been a major factor after admitting to frustration under the previous management duo of Groves and Shaun Brooks.

Pugh told the Daily Echo: “We were really struggling before the gaffer came in and I think (the appointment of) the gaffer and Jason was a big turning point for me.

“I love working under them. No disrespect to Paul and Shaun, they liked to play a diamond formation without wingers and it doesn't really suit my game and it was getting a bit frustrating being in and out of the team.

“Eddie and Jason like to get the best out of me. Hopefully, I can continue my form and we can make a good push for the play-offs, if not top two. You never know.”

Pugh, who revealed he had not previously been formally offered a contract since Lee Bradbury's reign, had just seven months to run on his existing deal and would have been entitled to leave for free in the summer.

But having now extended his stay, Pugh is confident he can play a part in a famous chapter in the club's history.

He said: “We have got a great opportunity of getting to the Championship and I believe we can do that, and the club is pushing for success. Everything is in place.”

Pugh, last season's Micky Cave-Daily Echo supporters' player of the year, has netted 30 times in 114 league and cup appearances.

Following his move from Hereford, the Lancastrian has settled in Dorset with his wife Laura and daughter Halle. He said that also played a role in his contract decision.

Pugh added: “It had to tick all the boxes for me and my family. My two girls absolutely love it down here and we were saying the other day that we don't want to leave the beach just yet! We are really happy here.

“It is a lovely place to be, the people are great, the fans have been brilliant with me, I love the lads to bits and we get on so well, and it is just everything about the place. All we need now is Championship football and I believe we are striving to do that, if not this season then next season.”