BOSS Eddie Howe hailed as “a real achievement” another memorable milestone in Cherries’ history and also welcomed the pressure of being top of the pile.

Victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium last night – courtesy of Callum Wilson’s early goal – guaranteed Cherries at least a place in the Championship play-offs.

Rivals Norwich and Middlesbrough also booked their places following wins over Leeds and Wolves, respectively, while Watford would join them if they were to triumph at Nottingham Forest tonight.

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Wilson’s fourth-minute strike, his 22nd goal of the season, helped Cherries maintain a one-point lead over the Canaries with Boro a further point behind the Dorset outfit in third.

Howe, asked whether it would be a disappointment if Cherries failed to go up automatically, replied: “This is a great moment for us because we have never been in this position. The highest we had finished in our history was 10th last season so it is a real achievement.

“I am not going to look at anything negatively or put extra pressure on the players. We have come from nowhere to be where we are with a group of players who have given everything so why would there be any cause for disappointment?”

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka, speaking ahead of their 2-1 win over Wolves, said he felt all the pressure was on the teams above the Teessiders.

“That is his opinion and I have no problem with that,” said Howe, after Karanka’s comments had been put to him by the Daily Echo. “All I would say is that I would rather be where we are. I would rather be top and wouldn’t want to be coming from behind. I would rather have the pressure – bring it on.

“We would much rather be top because we have a chance to have things in our own hands. That is what we want and that is what we want to keep so I have no problem being where we are.”

Cherries were roared on by more than 4,200 travelling supporters with Howe and his players acknowledging their backing during some emotional scenes following the final whistle.

“It was a special moment,” said Howe. “Our supporters were superb throughout the game. As a football club, we have never been in this position so you have to enjoy the moment. Whether it leads to any more beyond it, we don’t know.

“But for those few seconds, it was a very special bond between a group of players who had given everything in the game and a group of supporters who have also given everything to keep alive their club so we all had to enjoy it.”