BOSS Eddie Howe pledged to find the “right answers” for a successful pre-season and admitted he was keen to avoid a repeat of the early stages of the last Premier League campaign.

Cherries won just one of their opening eight Premier League games last time out, defeats to West Brom, Watford, Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham leaving them second-bottom of the table.

Although the Dorset club went on to secure survival thanks to a 12th-place effort – their second-best finish in the league ladder – perfectionist Howe is seeking a stronger start this time.

He told the Daily Echo: "We are going to analyse our pre-season from last year because at the time we loved it, we thought it was great. It was everything we wanted it to be.

"But we didn't start the season well so I think you would be foolish if you didn't look at that and try to find reasons why you didn't start the season as well as you could have done.

"We'll do that process. There's no guarantee, of course. Pre-season games are really important and we'll try to get the best games we can and really challenge the players.”

Cherries’ players are due back in for fitness testing at the end of this month before pre-season begins on Monday, July 2.

The club yesterday announced they would face La Liga opposition in Sevilla and Levante as part of a 12-day pre-season training camp at La Manga Club.

Three-time Europa League winners Sevilla are first up on Saturday, July 14 with Levante providing the opposition on Friday, July 20.

Both fixtures are set to take place at Pinatar Arena in Murcia.

Also among Cherries’ warm-up opponents are Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and Real Betis, those matches taking place on British soil.

Asked if the success of pre-season would be borne out in Cherries’ form early in the upcoming campaign, Howe said: "I don't think so. Of course, that will be the natural perception but our fitness levels and stats last season were better than they have ever been.

"I think we were in the top or three for most statistics, whether that's total distance or sprints, so our fitness levels were excellent.

"Something worked within that field. The results weren't great so that's why it's important that when you analyse it, you get the right answers and don't change something which did work well.”

Cherries are due to begin their fourth consecutive season in the top flight against newly-promoted Cardiff City.

The clash is set to take place at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, August 11.

Cherries and Cardiff last met in a competitive game in March 2015, when they shared a 1-1 draw in the Championship.

Earlier that season, Howe’s men had beaten the Bluebirds 5-3 in Dorset and won 3-0 in the League Cup.

Cardiff have not defeated Cherries in a competitive fixture in a decade.